The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has called upon President Bola Tinubu to promptly sign the Defence Industries Corporation and Army Trust Fund bills into law.
Kalu made this appeal during a retreat organized by the National Defence College in Abuja, where he emphasised the importance of these bills in enhancing national security.
According to Kalu, these bills, previously approved by the ninth National Assembly under former Senate President Ahmad Lawan, would significantly boost local content in the manufacturing of tools and equipment vital for the nation’s security.
He said, “It is a call on President to do it and do it as urgently as possible so that some of the funding contracts of the military at the moment will be converted into military industrial complexes.”
He highlighted the potential for stimulating the local economy and attracting patronage from neighbouring countries through enhanced defending capabilities.
Kalu envisioned that Nigeria, through technological innovations, could become a hub for manufacturing military tools, drawing interest from nations across Africa and beyond.
Kalu particularly stated the impact of the Army Trust Fund bill, asserting that it would liberate the military from dependence on the envelope budgeting system, which he deemed outdated.
“Gone are the days when you depend on envelope funding for the military and the armed forces.
“Many of you have said it here, over and over again, giving solid reasons why such a restrictive funding strategy is inimical to the core mandate that the military, the defence, wishes to achieve,” he added.