The Nigerian Army and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund) on Wednesday said they would collaborate to boost defence capabilities through research and development innovations.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and the Executive Secretary of Tetfund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, stated this when the Research and Development Committee of Tetfund visited the Army Headquarters.
During the visit, Buratai said that Nigeria Army placed premium on research and development which had given birth to a number of innovations in the area of military hardware.
He said the army had since established the department of Innovation and Transformation as well as the Resource Centre where issues of research and development were being handled.
He added that the army had through research innovation, produced a number of equipment to aid its operations such as Ezugwu MRAP and other combat vehicles among others.
”The department of Innovation and Transformation was established and over the years, it has participated in research and development exhibitions, seminar and workshops both at home and abroad.
“One of the great researchers in Nigerian Army has through his innovation produced what we have today as Ezugwu MRAPs and he has not taken glory for that innovation.
Buratai assured that the army would support the effort of Tetfund in encouraging research and development in the area of defence and security, adding that the country would have gone far if the initiative was conceived earlier.
He also assured of army’s support to the research and development committee towards establishing the National Research and Development Foundation being conceived.
According to him, many developed countries are great because of their research and development efforts, adding that knowledge based economy rules the world.
“If we had started this 60 years back, we would have been better ahead of many counties in the world today.
“This is a step in the right direction and I can assure you that in the next few years, Nigeria will be better for it,” he said.
The COAS also solicited the support of Tetfund for the research effort of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre and Nigerian Army Simulation Centre to enhance their research output.
He commended Tetfund for the support to the Nigerian Army University Biu in the provision of infrastructure for the university.
Earlier, Bogoro, said the visit was part of the effort to encourage research in the field of defence.
He said that in the past warfare was carried out on the field only, adding that the current warfare was based on innovation.
According to him, for too long, the Nigerian academic community have been clapping with one hand, adding that there was need to stretch hands across the isle including the defence industry.
He stated that no nation’s defence and security could be effective without research and development hence the need to partner the Nigerian army.
Also, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Njidda Gadzama, said it was the first time that the Nigerian academic community would speak with one voice in the area of research and development.
Gadzama said the visit have come to seek the support of the Nigerian army, adding that the foundation being promoted would greatly benefit the military.
The Director General, Defence Research and Development Bureau, AVM Jomo Osahor, said the purpose of the visit was to brief the COAS on the objective of the Committee and the need to encourage the academia to venture into research in defence and security.
Osahor added that the visit was also to seek strategic guidance from the army Chief on how to utilise their capabilities.
He also disclosed that the committee had achieved far reaching findings, adding that lack of world class laboratory had hindered the utilisation of those researches.
According to him, the end state of the committee is the establishment of a research and development foundation. (NAN)