Nigeria’s National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) is pushing to produce military weapons, vehicles and equipment that are “Made in Nigeria” to support the fight against extremist groups, bandits and other security threats.
Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, deputy director in charge of information at NASENI, said the Nigerian Army Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers took on one of the first projects to produce a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft gun. Other projects will include armored personnel carriers, unmanned aerial vehicles and light weapons for military use.
“The Agency had begun collaboration with some indigenous industries and research institutions as well as some foreign original equipment manufacturers with a view to domesticating military weapons and equipment production in Nigeria through infrastructural development and transfer of technology,” Ayeoyenikan said, according to Military Africa.
Another project that began in 2017 aims to create the first helicopter made in Nigeria. The country entered into an agreement with the Dynali Helicopter Co. in Belgium to produce the helicopters and transfer the technology so that they can be built domestically.
In a January 2023 news conference to update the media on the helicopter project, military and civilian leaders said they plan to continue to work together to build a robust domestic defense industry.
“You can count on our 110% collaboration,” said Air Vice Marshal Paul Jemitola, commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology in Kaduna. “We are going to continue to collaborate in every dimension, shape and form because we are going to benefit as well.”
Professor Mohammed Haruna, executive vice president of NASENI, said Nigeria’s industrial growth will make the country more self-sufficient.
“The intention is to ensure that all major vehicles we use here, their spare parts shall be available here and the manufacturer of such vehicles should have a location here and produce spare parts here,” Haruna told Channels Television.