Tinubu’s emphasis on synergy helped reduce terrorism, improve oil production – Badaru

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Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru

The Minister of Defence, Mohammad Badaru, has said that the emphasis by President Bola Tinubu on the synergy of security agencies was responsible for improved security across the country in the past one year.

He said that the synergy was also responsible for improved oil production in the Niger Delta region.

The minister said this yesterday in Abuja while giving the scorecard of his ministry during the ministerial press briefing commemorating the first anniversary of the present administration.

He said the huge allocation to Defence in the 2023 budget by President Tinubu did not only help them to procure and upgrade a lot of equipment for the Armed Forces to fight terrorism and other form of criminalities but also enhanced “our efficiency and has boosted the troops morals, through improved welfare.

Badaru said that in the past one year the military, in synergy with other security agencies, has eliminated several terrorists and bandits, and arrested several others, while over 100, 000 terrorists have also surrendered to the troops.

He said: “The president supported the Armed Forces with a lot of welfare packages, their salaries and allowances are paid as at when due. It is being funded adequately to take care of the troops and also to provide for their accommodation and provide for their training. And that has helped us to boost the morale of our troops heavily.

“We have been working also with regional security agencies and neighbouring countries to improve the security situation. For instance, just recently our troops conducted Operation Desert Sanity III in conjunction with troops of the Republic of Chad, Cameroon, and the Benin Republic. This shows how we collaborate with neighbouring states to fight insurgency.

“They killed many terrorists, many terrorists, many weapons recovered and many hostages were rescued. I’m sure you have seen a lot in the news. This shows that the collaborations that we have with our neighbours have been efficient and helped us to reduce the impact of small arms.”

Speaking about how military operations had improved oil production, the minister said troops, through several operations in the past one year, destroyed several illegal refineries and seized millions of litres of crude oil from oil thieves.

“Today, most of the illegal refineries are down, while major vessels used for stealing crude oil have been arrested.

“In the period under review, the military destroyed 3,051 pits used for illegal cruel production, 1,276 boats, 3,924 storage facilities and 2716 cooking overs.”

The minister said the signing of the DICON bill has helped improve the production of locally manufactured equipment to fight terrorism and other criminalities.

He said with the help of the bill, Nigeria was in discussion with over 50 private companies, both within and abroad, in the area of production of weapons and other military equipment.

“In fact, 13 of them have already started production or are about to start production,” he said.

“For example, in Lagos, they have started the assemblage and production of armoured carriers, safety equipment, radios…They are also investing heavily in the production of drones. They are in testing mode now.”

The minister said as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration, the government has developed a whole-society approach to end insecurity in the country.

He said the approach was based on the premise of “taking care of people’s welfare so that we reduce the incidences of insecurity.”

He said: “So we have close collaboration with other ministries like the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development to provide welfare for the people. We target those areas where people are suffering and see how we can help and support their livelihood.

“And we have been having meetings also all around the country to talk to communities to take ownership of the security. To give us information that will deprive the bandits and terrorists from taking over our country, and I’m happy to say we are getting a good response from the people.

“All the successes that we have, we get information from the community, and we are doing a lot of meetings with the traditional institution, the civil society, organization, and of course, individual communities to support us so that the whole society approach in tackling security can be achieved.”

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