As the Naira continues to dip against the United States Dollars, Nigerian Army (NA) says it is seeking the mutual understanding of stakeholders in the defence industry on procurement of various equipment and platforms that would enhance it’s operation.
At a seminar titled: “Implications of the New Central Bank of Nigeria Foreign Exchange Policy on International Trade: Challenges for the Nigerian Army,” held on Tuesday at the Army War College, Abuja, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja however expressed the resolve of the Army to partner with reputable stakeholders in the Defence and Security Industry for the procurement of requisite equipment and platforms, that would enhance its operational effectiveness.
The COAS pointed out that Government policies are critically important to the successful attainment of NA constitutional mandate, adding that one of such policies is the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent Foreign Exchange Policy, which has continued to have significant implications for NA contracts requiring foreign exchange.
He noted that this development has resulted in requests for payment of variations, which he described, as unfavourable to the NA. He explained that the need to forge mutual understanding of the CBN policy amongst stakeholders informed the theme of the seminar.
The Army Chief affirmed, that as Nigeria’s contemporary security space continues to deepen the relevance of military logistics contractors in Nigerian Army’s sustenance plans, it becomes expedient to have the seminar in order to promote mutual understanding amongst stakeholders to help the NA aggregate value for Government allocations.
Gen Lagbaja maintained that the primary objective of establishing the Directorate is ‘contract and contractor relationship management to enable the NA obtain the best value for funds released to its contractors and business partners for execution of various contracts and projects, while ensuring fairness, integrity and transparency’.
The COAS declared that under his leadership, the NA will view all forms of short-changing with the seriousness it deserves and ensure that contractors mobilized for various jobs deliver as agreed, adding that the NA remains open to partnering relevant stakeholders on terms favourable to all and give value to the Federal Government that funds its activities.
He appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his tireless support by providing the means for the NA to procure vital requirements. He also expressed gratitude to the Honourable Minister of Defence, Office of the National Security Adviser, CBN, Bureau of Public Procurement and other stakeholders for their support. He expressed optimism that the seminar will facilitate renewed commitment to building and sustaining an efficient procurement system that meets international best practices.
In his remarks, the Director Procurement, Major General Adeyinka Adereti, stated that the objective of the seminar is to enhance participants understanding of the rudiments of operational contract support in an ever-changing global context.
He emphasized that public procurement and foreign exchange policies and regulations continue to be the guiding compass for the award of contracts and procurement of platforms, which would enhance NA operations and improve the Army’s posture to perform its role.
He revealed that global procurement processes have taken a new turn due to changes in the international system and the prevailing security climate, hence the need to organize the procurement seminar.