National Defence Policy Committee submits report

Mr Mansur Dan-Ali.

The Nigerian National Defence Policy Committee (NNDPC) has submitted its report to the Minister of Defence, Mr Mansur Dan-Ali.

The Chairman of the Committee, retired Lt.-Gen. Isaac Obiakor , while presenting the report to the Minister, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve in the committee.

Obiakor said that the task was to identify recommendations contained in the revised NNDP 2015.

He said that the essence of the exercise was to capture government’s views and position on each of the recommendations in the revised NNDP.

The chairman said that the committee was to also make recommendations to government on realistic strategies for the implementation of the revised NNDP.

“We are to advise on legal procedures and options for integrating relevant decisions in the revised NNDP.

“We are to also make further recommendations as may be considered relevant to the committee’s terms of reference,’’ he said.

The chairman, however, said that the committee critically analysed the synopsis of the 2015 NNDP before coming up with its report.

Other members of the committee include Mr Hassan Abdullahi, Secretary, retired Maj.-Gen. Junaid Bindawa.

In his remarks, Dan-Ali thanked the chairman and members of the committee for accepting the national assignment.

This, he said, was an opportunity for them to bring to bear their wealth of experience for the betterment of the country.

“I am aware the task was hectic but at the same time, very happy that you have completed the assignment within the time frame.

“Your determination, commitment and selfless service to the nation were appreciated and commendable,’’ the minister said.

He said that in a modern democracy, the defense of a multi cultural society to which Nigeria belonged, was a collective responsibility of the government.

Dan-Ali explained that it was in line with this that the president strived at restructuring and building the capacity and capabilities of the Armed Forces to meet emerging and contemporary security challenges.

“This has necessitated the need for security and Defence sector reforms which are aimed at repositioning the Armed Forces.

“The philosophy of the draft NNDP is to have a professional people-oriented defence policy to ensure citizens’ participation and mobilisation of the relevant resources for national defence, in line with international best practices,’’ he said.

The minister stressed the need for the document to be reviewed periodically in order to address the dynamic nature of the global environment and emerging threats to defence and sovereignty of nations.

He observed that the NNDP 2006 had not been reviewed despite the fact that the country had undergone transformation in terms of development as well as security challenges.

“These new developments and challenges in the domestic and global environment had direct impact on national defence and security.

“This also underscores the need to renew the NNDP to mitigate the emerging threats and security challenges,’’ Dan-Ali said.

He commended the determination of the present administration for its continued support for the Armed Forces to enable them to discharge their constitutional responsibilities effectively.

The minister promised to implement most “if not all”, of the recommendations and strategies of the committee.