Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) in collaboration with the Nigerian Army (NA) have agreed to enhance Research and Development (R&D), Science Technology and Innovation (STI) to fight insurgency; BINTA SHAMA reports.
In the last decade, insurgency remained a huge challenge to the federal government especially with the Boko Haram group which started its campaign to carve out its own territory in North East of Nigeria coupled with the activities of bandits who have taken over many ungoverned territories of the North West. With increasing activities of these two sets of criminal groups lately, it has assumed a very worrying dimension for the government and Nigerians.
Boko Haram which began its campaign against the state commenced in 2009 as an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. The conflict takes place within the context of long-standing issues of religious violence between Nigeria’s Muslim and Christian communities, with the ultimate aim to establish an Islamic state in the region.
Nigeria and developed countries on STI
The Department of Transformation and Innovation (DATI) of the Nigeria Army is expected to ensure the Army actualise its vision of managing the Army’s Transformation Process in order to develop its operational effectiveness. The Department is also said to develop strategies that will ensure that the NA responds adequately to the ever dynamic operational and technological environment. Also, the department is saddled with the responsibility of evolving standards to guide the Army’s transformation and innovation.
On the other hand, most developed nations today are of the school of thoughts that a nation is recognised by either its prosperity and security as well as how it addresses challenges of disasters, poverty, famine, and diseases around it and the world at large, there by impacting lives.
Research and Development (R&D) is said to play a very paramount role in promoting nation’s national and international interests by advancing strategies for employing Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) to respond to global challenges. Thus, the focus on science, technology, and innovation is critical to improving development outcomes. At the core of this progress is the engagement of the ministry of science and technology, the Nigerian Army, and their commitment to work in partnership, to research, test, and bring about solutions.
Due to the consistent record of insurgency, the federal ministry of science and technology are working together to boost the nation’s economy through its foreign exchange earnings.
FG making headway to end insurgency
Just recently, a delegation from the Nigerian Army made good its word to work with the major stakeholder of R&D, i.e. the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology by paying a courtesy visit to the Minister in Abuja.
While responding to the Army’s request, the Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu pledged to support and collaborate with the Nigerian Army to develop Nigeria’s economy and also enhance the military’s work in the area of Science, Research and Innovation (STI) for business and joint hands.
According to him the ministry is working hard to move the nation away from the dependent way of resource commodity to be independent or knowledgeable. Thus, he said by doing this, “we will be leading the nation in building a noble society and to achieve this, we must have a strong military because they are self-reliant around the world. We need to start depending on what we can produce for our needs as a nation and the Federal Government is working towards this direction because we know the situation the country faced in the past. We hope to continue to produce the weapons system that we will need to fight insurgency and sell to other countries.
“STI is paramount in battles to defeat insurgency and this is a means in which we can collectively develop to put in the export market and earn revenues for the nation just like how we travel outside the country from many developing weapon countries to acquire what we should be able to produce and sell out to other nations we must emulate them,” he added.
Further speaking, he commended the Nigerian Army for their full contribution and support to build the nation by creating combat vehicle to end insurgency in the country.
DATI to transform the Army
While intimating the Minister on his visit, the Chief of the Department of Transformation and Innovation (DATI) in the Nigerian Army, Major General Elvis Njoku disclosed to the Minister about their visit, seeking for collaboration with the Ministry being a key stakeholder in the area of Research and Development.
According to him, his department is charged with the responsibility of transforming the Nigerian Army and championing innovation that would positively impact it in line with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff to have a professionally and responsive Nigerian Army it discharges its constitutional role.“It was created in 2012 due to the overwhelming challenges the country faced, there by transforming the army from the attitude of personnel to their will to fight right up to keeping pace with global military development and advancement over the world in order to enhance our administrative, logistics, training and professional endeavors,” he stressed.”
He noted that over the years, the Army has collaborated with a lot of agencies and institutes and came forth with positive results and one of the latest researches and development result is the Ezugwu Mines Resistance Armour Protective (MRAP) Vehicle which was disclosed during the Army Day celebration and the vehicle is already making waves in the North East.
“We decided to visit the ministry as the first stakeholder in research development industry and as a key driver in this field to enhance social economic development. And bringing it down to the army you will see that we are in tuned with your mission and the army has created an enabling environment for economic development in time.”
He further said the collaboration would “secure a self reliant nation in research and development efforts, FMST being one of the principal drivers in terms of research and development,”