NIGERIAN ARMY TO SET UP ANOTHER NEW DIVISION IN THE NIGER DELTA

Nigerian Army Special Forces commandos and a BTR-3 APC seen for the first time in Nigerian service

Nigerian Army Special Forces commandos and a BTR-3 APC seen for the first time in Nigerian service

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Written by Chris Agbambu
Abuja
Thursday, 02 January 2014

STRONG indications have emerged that the South-South region of the country will soon have a division of the Nigerian Army whose primary
responsibility will be to safeguard the
nation’s economic and territorial assets.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that the
idea of setting up a new division for
the Nigerian Army after the 7
Division to checkmate terrorism and
cross border banditry, followed
intelligence reports that a new army of militant youths was being mobilized by unpatriotic elements out of political mischief.

If it becomes a reality, the new
division will balance the equation of
Nigerian Army divisions following such in Lagos, (81 division), Ibadan, (2 division), Kaduna, (1 Infantry
division), Enugu (82 division), Jos, (3
division) and Maiduguri, (7 division).

Though such ad-hoc platforms like the
Special Task Force for the Niger Delta, ‘Operation Pulo Shield’ exist, these are considered a temporary arrangement and in modern operations, the necessity of joint-ness makes it imperative that army should have a solid base in the oil-rich area.

Contacted for some clarifications,
military sources told Nigerian Tribune
that the establishment of an Army
division for the Niger Delta region has
become long overdue in view of the
importance of the zone to the socio- economic and political wellbeing of the nation.

Nigerian Tribune further gathered that it was pursuant to the establishment of the new division and the military expertise needed to see its evolvement and nurturing, that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Onyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika, took the unprecedented step of promoting 27 Major Generals and about 70 Brigadier Generals in the Nigerian Army in December.

BACKGROUNDER

https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/nigerian-army-get-new-7-infantry-division-with-headquarters-at-maiduguri-start-up-complement-of-8000-troops-deployed-to-northeastern-emergency-rule-area-carved-up-from-1-mechanised-division-a/

https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/opinion-mulling-the-creation-of-a-new-army-division/

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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39 Responses to NIGERIAN ARMY TO SET UP ANOTHER NEW DIVISION IN THE NIGER DELTA

  1. ifiok umoeka says:

    I’ve always thought that the brigades in the south-south should be brought under one formation and work closely with the navy otherwise a marine force be created. However, u know me and my equip the boys slogan, if we go that path (and its the right path) get the boys what they need to get the job done. God bless nigeria!

  2. peccavi says:

    Hmm, another good decision if this comes to pass

  3. Obix says:

    Fantastic! This shows that our army top brass have a clear understanding of the security challenges! Kudos COAS! Oga Beag, this means further surge in procurement and recruiting!

    • Are James says:

      A friend of a friend once paid a visit to the MOD in Lagos in the mid 1980so.
      He described a floor of offices filled with maps containing multiple coloured depictions of every oil and gas installation offshore and onshore complete with sizes, production capacities, distances from the air and coastal towns ete.c. Major towns, cities and existing military locations were also clearly marked.
      So even though though contemporary challenges have been humbling, let us not forget that we still have lots of defence strategy egg heads in our services who do nothing else but trying to match existing battle order to anticipated threats.
      This new division I believe has been on the drawing board for quite some time and it marks the gradual realization that we need an army that can fight in two or three major conflicts in different terrains at the same time and win. Let us hope that the different hardware and training requirements would also be addressed

  4. to4shizzle says:

    This a Very Good Step the COAS is doing, First Retiring some Generals and promising to still retain the very exceptional ones for training.

    Now promoting 97 Generals at once meaning more deployment and Brigade, division and Battalion sized Engagements.

    More recruitment, more equipments and training, the Army Brass are on point.

    Now there is something I wanted to discuss and hope it doesn’t cause issues…..Well since Labaran Maku was made Defence Minister we have had very Good news on the Military! Does this in anyway mean he contributed anything?.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Etisalat. Enjoy high speed mobile broadband on any of our Easyblaze plans. Visit http://www.etisalat.com.ng for details.

    • jimmy says:

      No sorry to burst that bubble. The CAS has been advocating more funds, more equipment and more men i.e more infrastructure for the ARMY read those issues in Dec and Nov and you will see how vocal he has been. Unlike the” EVERYTHING- IS -FINE CNAF. A very important American proverb that i learnt is that” A close mouth does not get fed”

  5. jimmy says:

    I have advocated this for on going of three years. Please forget the naysayers who might read politics into this. I am being very cautious here, but just like we have our FIRST EVER coin based division the 7th. It at some point has to make sense to have an AMPHIBIOUS based DIVISION for years we have literally limped of the 13th? based BRIGADE to manage an area of land and sea close to I/2 of the biggest countries in EUROPE in terms of land and marine mass in size .The 13 th can easily form the basis of the core of the new amphibious DIVISION (10 TH AMPHIBIOUS DIVISION)
    I pray this is true, it would be very disheartening if this is not true, because more than at any point in time Nigeria needs an AMPHIBIOUS division , NOT A BRIGADE.

  6. Henry says:

    Oga to4shizzle, the appointment of labran maku has nothing to do with how the nigerian defence sector is run or with the successes/ failures the sector has had. Same thing with when olusola obada was the defence chief. The ministry of defence only handles paper-work.

    According to the C-in-C, the various service arms and the police are run by the COAS,CAS, CNS and CDS who coordinates all of them and the IGP who runs the police. The various ministers in defence and police affairs have little to virtually no input in how any of these various sectors are operated. In the presidents view, the removal of the MoD allows the service chiefs to meet with the president directly instead of the minister in charge.

    So the Gulma, alpha over-hauls, igirigi and SDB achievements and procurements have nothing to do with the input of the MoD, same as the failures recorded from the attacks on the airforce and subsequent destruction of helicopters et al, et al fall squarely at the feet of the defence chiefs and the IGP.

    So the president in his last media-chat in 2013 has decided to , along with other agencies, scrap the ministry of police affairs.

    What it is means is the Hon. Minister or olusola obada has nothing to do with the recent/ past “good news” in the defence sector.

  7. startrek says:

    while enjoying the new year break at one of the officers mess in the Nation I over heard the 2ic of that installation confirming it to his colleuqe …. so the new Div is a 99% certainty

    • jimmy says:

      Oga beegs he he this ting wey talk it sweet my belle o.Ye it be like they some them people dey seethings wey we don talk tire o! I am grudgingly beginning to believe that there are some politicians that actually take the security of Nigeria serious. To me if the f.g. decides to do the right thing whai call put a stamp on it,this to me is a game changer.I have read a lot all day about landing rights and friendships with places no bigger than ajegunle total number of people less than ogun state.what I want/ need is for nigeria to understand the first maxim of warfare : carry a big stick and use it effectively. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  8. rka says:

    The COAS should make sure that the new division is solely amphibious orientated encompassing small boat tactics (like the SBS) to full amphibious assault capability.

    My preference though would have been the setting up of a Nigerian Marine Corp Division, initially with troops from the army forming the core and a recruitment drive which will eventualy see the division come under the Navy or attached to the navy as a separate entity. Just my thoughts.

  9. beegeagle says:

    Indeed, that is ALMOST CERTAINLY what it shall turn out to be.

    * Likely AOR – Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River (i.e almost entirely carved out of the 82 Div AOR)

    * Orientation – INFANTRY DIVISION

    * Specialization – Amphibious/Marine/Litoral Warfare

    * Special Competency: Just like the new 7 Division in the Northeast which was set up 5 months ago has light infantry operations as its generalist slant and with counterinsurgency, mountains and desert operations as specialist focus, I suspect that the new division in the Niger Delta shall be focused on counterinsurgency operations and littoral warfare, with amphibious operations being the generalist slant

    * Could be named “XX Marine Commando Division”, “XX Amphibious Division”

    * Takeoff units – 2 Amphibious Bde, Port Harcourt and 13 Amphibious Bde, Calabar. Additional formations, in line with NA practice of supporting each maneouvre division with an artillery brigade and an engineers brigade, certain to crop up. We could see a new artillery brigade stationed in Bayelsa.

    * the divisional engrs would have the HQ squadron at PHC and possibly, a Field Engineers Regt in Akwa Ibom and a Support Engrs Regt around Kwale or Ibusa in Delta State. The usual complement of Barracks Maintenance Groups and Cantonment Maintenance Groups shall be dispersed across the brigade garrisons, battalions and regiments of the new division.

    That is what my crystal ball tells me🙂

  10. rka says:

    Your crystal ball looks very clear to me oga Beeg, lol. I quite fancy the word ‘commando’ tagged onto the division.

  11. Die9myte says:

    Oga Beeg ur crystal ball couldn’t have seen anything less,when Beeg talks obviously Beeg have/had seen…… I guess “XX Amphibious Division” naming will be more likely.
    I guess GEJ is gradually taking conscious security initiatives in right direction………Awon politicians yii

  12. Obix says:

    Oga beag, i’m sure you shined your crystal ball well well!🙂 I don’t believe they will call it “commando division”. I’ll go for “amphibious” division. But knowing the way they do things, they might just call it “XX division” without giving it any specialized name.

  13. doziex says:

    All these amphibious and counterinsurgency divisions are all well and good,

    But I wanna see some old fashioned armored heavy maneuver divisions based on the T-90, challenger or leopard 2 tanks series.
    Backed up by self propelled howitzers.
    Folk are acting like that is an already mastered component in NA’s arsenal.

  14. jimmy says:

    OGA DOZIEX
    We have got to crawl before we can walk . You and i have been on this blog for three years and lamented the fact we do not have a MARINE component DEDICATED solely to as a division not a brigade ( 13th and 2nd) to place emphasis on some of our most strategic assets.
    Per population ratio Nigeria is one of the least EQUIPPED military wise and it it has become a very bad sign.
    @ The close of the civil WAR .Nigeria had a population of less than 100m and yet the size of the military was close to 250,000.
    Now the population is give or take a million or two close to 150 MILLION and yet our army is just beginning to hover around the 115,000 mark.
    The thing is we as a nation really need to take our security situation serious before the installation of our coastal radar systems how many Russians, Ghanians, Nigerians were doing their” bidness ”
    unhindered? My first cousin told me how he used to fish for some of the most sought after fish in the world MARLIN , how many of these illegal fishing ships passed through our waters unhindered in the past?
    I beg o ! omo make we get this division before the powers begin to procrastinate. We can then begin to build on that. One of the reasons why we have not gotten any brand new fixed dual fighter aircraft is because our oga at the top does not believe in fighting for it .
    We get the amphibious division We start fighting for the amphibious HELIO CARRIERS then OGA PECCAVI will wet his pants lol then we start the design of amphibious equipped APC catch my drift.

  15. beegeagle says:

    By the way, from what is left of 82 Division as presently constituted, I expect that

    – the five states of the Southeast+Benue State shall be the AOR of the new 82 Div

    – 14 Brigade, an Engrs Brigade(Div Engrs) and 34 Field Artillery Brigade shall form the pivotal units. A new infantry brigade shall almost certainly emerge in Benue State.

    During the IBB years, we had a 31 Air Portable Bde stationed at Makurdi. They later got disbanded and 31 Bde became an artillery brigade which moved out of 82 Div AOR and into 1 Div AOR. The said 31 Field Arty Bde is today a formation under 1 Mech Division.

  16. Yagazie says:

    Great News and what a way to start the New Year!

    Being a bit sentimental, I would like the new Division to be called the 3rd Marine Commando Division- a tribute to it’s illustrous civil war predecessor which carried out the first opposed wartime sea-borne landings in Africa back in 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War (at Calabar and Bonny). Also, when this new Division is innaugurated, Brig. Gen (rtd) Benjamin Adekunle should be made the lifetime honorary GOC!! (LOL!)

    • beegeagle says:

      We are on the same page, my friend.

      I would be thrilled to have General BAM Adekunle as “GOC Emeritus”, “GOC in perpetuity” or “Honorary GOC” of any amphibious division of the NA. He defined the art for us way back in 1967 when we became the first army across the 3rd World to conduct amphibious landing…in the process moving a 30,000-man division into their AOR by sea.

  17. beegeagle says:

    Hmmn..Mighty Yagz! Happy New Year, buddy.

    I like ‘Marine Commando’ too. However, 3 Armoured Division is the present incarnation of 3 Marine Commando. That is why, checking through their chronicle of command at the Rhino Officers Mess, the first GOC of 3 Armoured Division is listed as Brig Gen BAM Adekunle! 3 Marine Commando was redesignated 3 Armoured Division around 1976 and they moved from PHC to Jos in 1978.
    So we could have an 11 Marine Cdo Div or 11 Amphibious Div but certainly not 3 Marine Commando.

    It might also interest you to note that 82 Division is the present incarnation of the old 4 Infantry Division, formed in December 1973 and whose first GOC was Brig Gen Godwin Ally. Major General OE Obada was the 2nd GOC, appointed by General Murtala Ramat Muhammed in 1975.

    4 Infantry Division was redesignated as the 82 Div in 1981.

    @Oga Doziex. Don’t bet on it. I believe that the NA are probably looking to create an eight-divisional structure and the next division after this seventh one, shall almost certainly be an armoured division located in ‘tank terrain’

    So do not be surprised to find a new armoured division springing up within the 1 Div and 2 Div AORs such that 31 FAB could move up to Katsina, remaining under 1 Div and 1 Div shall have 1 Bde, 3 Bde and 31 Bde under command but with the NW as AOR.

    By the same token, such a new armoured division would probably have the NC states of Kwara, Kogi, Niger and Nasarawa as AOR – all situated in the guinea savanna and/or sudan savanna belt where tanks can maneouvre with ease, and it would probably take off with 22 Armoured Bde as pivotal formation while a new armoured brigade could be created and stationed at Minna to replace 31 FAB. Finally, to bring such a division up to full strength, an artillery brigade could spring up either in Nasarawa or Kogi. An engineers bde shall also be formed for the new division.

    In closing, I see the NA soon realigning to have two Army Groups/Field Army Corps, each with three or four divisions under the command of a GOC-in-Chief/Commanding General ala India/USA. The helmsmen shall be Lieutenant Generals. That would see any incumbent COAS, the commander of commanders, holding appointment as a four-star general.About time too..

  18. beegeagle says:

    BTW, while mentioning the fact that NA maneouvre divisions are always backed up by one arty bde and one engrs bde, I did not mention that having one recce bn under command is also standard practice.

    So for the new 7 Div in the Northeast and the soon-to-be-deployed new division in the Niger Delta, we can expect the NA to form two arty bdes, two engineers bdes and two recce bns in the months ahead. State of play, gentlemen.

    Already, we know that the new 7 Div already has three new infantry brigades

    – 5 Brigade
    – 12 Brigade
    – 37 Brigade

    Ride on, NA. As far as realigning the ORBAT goes, you guys are so on point and are maximally living up to expectations. Do ensure the hardware procurement does not fall behind the footprint on ground at any rate. God speed.

  19. Akin Oges says:

    Oga Beeg, sorry to go off on a tangent. I thought this interview on will be of some interest sir: “The Managing Director/CEO, Proforce Limited, Mr. Adetokunbo Ogundeyin, says the new automotive policy recently introduced by the Federal Government is the best decision for the nation’s economy now. In this interview with AkinTUNDE Akinwale, Ogundeyin also explained why his company went into armoured vehicles production and the recent partnership with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON). Excerpts.

    Why did you go for the production of armoured vehicles?
    What has happened over the years is that the level of insecurity is on a very high level. When you look at armed robbery, you will see that it is on a very high level. I happened to be in Kuwait sometime ago, and people were looking for a company that would partner them, to market their products, and at that particular moment, it dawned on me that I did not want to be a go-between; I wanted to be a manufacturer. So we teamed up with some Colombians to set up Proforce in 2008. That was actually how we started the company. And the reason we founded the company, like I said, was due to the high level of insecurity in the country and all over the world. Nigeria is not isolated on this, because when you look at it, the same thing is happening in many countries across the world.

    Why did you not go for importing?
    Due to my passion for innovation and my training as an engineer, I do not believe that trading is the way forward. We engineers believe that trading does not build up the economy of any country but innovative manufacturing and application of latest technology. Manufacturing is the heartbeat of any economy and without manufacturing that economy will be stagnant and potentially collapse under external global market pressures. Trading is just a short-term engagement. Manufacturing is long-term, and the more companies you have manufacturing, the greater the foundation of the economy of that country because of the jobs and wealth created. So, that was why we went into manufacturing and, of course, it gives me so much joy and pride because by manufacturing, we design and build our products; and this is done by Nigerians thereby developing expertise and capacity. We are creating jobs for Nigerians. We are saving for the country a lot of foreign exchange and are even earning foreign exchange for the country by exporting. You can imagine the amount of joy you have when you see your products in other countries all over the world and it is made in Nigeria. It enhances Nigeria’s good image all over the world.

    But, then apart from that, when you are talking about defence, in Africa, it is only South Africa that has gone into this type of business, and we believe that we can do better. We believe that Nigerians have what it takes. We believe that Nigerians are intelligent and hardworking; Nigerians are focused and forward thinking; they know how to go about things. They are very sharp thinkers. So we believe that by the time we tap into these great qualities of Nigerians, we should be able to produce better products than what they make in South Africa, and we are on the way. We are on our way, because when you look at the level of patronage and the level of confidence that is being built in a lot of our clients that approach us, you will agree with me. They can see the vehicles that are built abroad; they can see the quality of things done abroad. They can see that Nigeria has been used as a dumping ground, and when they see what we are doing and the quality of the finish, they are impressed. We are gradually building confidence in a lot people. Our quality control department is doing a great job in that respect. I thank most of the people working there, because it is a collective effort to project Nigeria as the number one defence products manufacturing country in the world.

    But some people think that Nigeria is not investment -friendly, due to policy inconsistency, which has resulted in many companies folding up…
    About policies that keep on changing, it is not only in Nigeria that this happens. It is all over the world that it happens. What we have tried to do is that we try to run a very lean organization. Number two is that we practice the Jugaad management method. In the Jugaad method, we don’t waste money. We are not top-heavy at all, and we spend a lot of money on training and on research and development. That is the core of any business concern.
    Yes, a lot of companies have folded up, but a lot of these companies wasted a lot of money by being top heavy and lacking basic efficiency practices. They wasted money on other things. We have plugged all such holes, and what we have also done is that we try to run the place with minimal overheads, because when you start producing volume, then you can make your money, and it will sustain you.

    What exactly do you produce in your Ode Remo plant, and can the quality standard be compared with similar products elsewhere in the world?
    We make a lot of tactical vehicles, cash-in-transit vans; infantry combat vehicles, armoured patrol boats, Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV’s) and architectural armouring. We are now putting together a prototype military tank. Majority of these vehicles are second to none when you look at the quality. We have brought in expatriates that have a combined 70 years experience in armoring, and these are people who were the top guys where they were working before. They have transferred the technology to Nigerians who are coming up seriously fast. In fact, we have a couple armoured personnel carriers (APCs) that the Nigerian team put together and when you look at the quality of the finish, you can match it in quality with the APC’s the expatriate team made.

    So, gradually, what is happening is that the Nigerians are taking over, and one day the expatriates will leave it to Nigerians. But I can assure you that our products are just as good as all the products that are imported into Nigeria. Moreover, all we defence products manufacturers import raw materials from the same select group of companies such as glass from the same world leading Armoured Glass company in Peru. Likewise, we all import steel from the same company. The type of welding we do is mig-welding – the expertise of welding two ballistic metals together. If there is a joint, there could be a weak area. So we have perfected the mig-welding because of the presence of the expatriates that we have around, who have transferred that technology to the Nigerians.

    We have independently tested most of the different parts. They are all tested in ballistic laboratories in Germany and we are putting together a process of taking the vehicle as a whole for testing in Germany too. Apart from that, even the drive of most of our vehicles is different; because of our environment, the suspensions are made to suit our roads. We test some of these vehicles on our roads. We test some of these vehicles on our test track. We are putting up a mega test-track, but for now, the vehicles are tested on the test track we have. Some of the vehicles are amphibious going through deep waters. We are putting together a military tank that is combat-ready.

    What is your recent MoU with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) all about?
    We signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with DICON to build a lot of military APCs in their Bauchi plant. The Bauchi plant has been comatose for years. I think it was built over 20 years, and not much has happened there. So, they want us to make use of it on a PPP (public private partnership) basis and start building military tanks. Just as we are building here, we will be building over there too. Nothing is as good as that, because what it means is that the country as a whole will now look inward. I can tell you one thing: No army anywhere in the world goes out to fight without having its own equipment built in its own country, because if you are unlucky to have your equipment built in a country where an aggression is coming from, then you are in trouble. So, you are to have your own home-grown equipment, not equipment being built by one country and supplied to you. No. We have more than enough expertise to build these things here. We are building them in Ode- Remo. You need to go there and see what we are doing there.

    So, we don’t need any expatriate to say they want to come and start building anything again for us. Many countries have realized that Proforce is number one, that Proforce is on the move. At the rate at which we are going, we will overtake a lot of countries within a short time, and that is the drive we have.

    You once tested your APC with policemen on board as shots were being fired with AK 47. Was there any incident, and how did the vehicle perform?
    Yes, that was at Osun State. The policemen were inside the vehicle as it was shot times without number, and there was no penetration at all. What that shows is that we know our products, and we are confident of our products. Even I can sit down in our vehicles and have it shot at as I will be fully protected. All our vehicles are 360 degrees protected.

    By that you mean that no part of your armoured vehicles can be penetrated?
    No part can be penetrated. Even when you have gun shots on the tyres, what you will discover is that the run-flat that are inside the tyres can take the vehicles for over 50 kilometres and take you out of that danger zone, which is excellent and second to none. So, that is what we have done. The Policemen, the Military, the Armed Forces and the paramilitary, all of them have given credit to our products. They find it un-believable that this is happening in Nigeria, but it is truly happening.

    Who do you make APCs for and who are those that bring their luxury cars to you for armouring?
    Our clients are the Military, the Police, the Paramilitary, the Immigration, Customs and multi-national companies that bring their vehicles here, because they realize that a lot of the vehicles they imported and are having serious after-sales problems. In fact, one of the biggest companies making armoured vehicles in the US just called me for a meeting tomorrow, saying they want us to handle their after-sales in the country and they want us to handle their armouring for them here for some of their clients.

    That shows you the level of confidence they have in us. Apart from that, we had an inquiry from one of the huge European countries i.e. France. They want to supply armoured vehicles to a Francophone African country. They want to sub-contract the building of the militarised Landcruiser to us. We will do the building of the Land cruisers, and they will put the ammunition on them. The western world having so much confidence in what we are doing shows that Nigeria is going places, the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has done so much to encourage us, and it projects the government in good light all over the world.

    What kind of support have you been getting from government?
    Proforce has been recognized by government. In fact, there was a time the President sent a delegation of all the security outfits within the Presidency to come and look at what we are doing. At different times, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, and the Minister of State in the ministry have been to the plant. The military has been there. Commissioners of police of different states have also been there, and they all appreciated what we were doing and were impressed. Not only that, the Federal Government has just come out with the new automotive policy as part of the transformation agenda. The automotive policy is the best thing to ever happen to this country. Look at a country like Iran where the auto industry contributes 10 percent to the GDP of that country. That is what is going to happen in Nigeria. The auto policy will transform this country completely into a manufacturing nation.

    Look at financing, the Federal Government has now provided an intervention fund for manufacturing. This fund is one that is accessed easily. The Bank of Industry people are always ready to help. We thank God for them. The National Automotive Council too has been so good to us and the industry generally. They have given us their backing. So, what else? The new fiscal measures for the auto industry will allow us to bring in our different parts at zero duty from next year. There is nothing as good as that. What it means is that we will be competitive anywhere in the world market.

    But there are people who think it will not be good for the economy.
    For goodness sake, we have been on this for years. We have been trading for years; just importing and selling. Nigeria has been converted to a dumping site for imported vehicles. Look at all the Chinese vehicles all over the place. Look at countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. They are manufacturers of vehicles. This is the time we should rise to the occasion and stop all this trading. It can never be counter-productive. Look at the amount of foreign exchange we are going to save. Trillions of naira in foreign exchange will be saved for this country; this is what they have been using to import vehicles every year. Look at the employment opportunities that it is going to create – close to 500,000 jobs or more. How can it be counter-productive? Look at the effects downstream; several specialist manufacturing outfits will spring up, making brake pads, suspensions, and general spares for these locally manufactured vehicles. Let each one of the traders go there and get these companies to come and set up assembly plants in Nigeria. If you go to Malaysia, you will see an assembly plant for Mercedes-Benz, for Suzuki, for Honda, and others. Let them go there and get these people to set up assembly plant here. If the Western world are not interested, then we go to Asia. By the time the West realized the Asians have taken over the market, they will come. You don’t need to beg anybody. They will come. Look at what has happened in India. Look at how Tata started manufacturing vehicles in India, and today, they have taken over Land Rover, they have taken over Jaguar, they started from somewhere. They started from India. So, I believe that our automotive industry will get there. We will get to the stage the Indians have reached. I am very confidence about that.

    The Minister seems to be caught in the cross-fire of the opposing camps on the policy. How do you see him?
    This is a man that has applied a global perspective to manage massive portfolios and we all know they are long term thinkers. These are people who understand what industrialization is all about. The people who are attacking the Minister are a people who cannot see beyond their nose. Nigerians do not want to get out of their comfort zone. The people that have been opposing the policy have been making money just trading. Let me give you a typical example: Dangote those days was just trading. When Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s government started the privatization of government enterprises, he took the bull by the horn and went into manufacturing, and today, you can see the difference. Other people who were his competitors, but were short-sighted, look at where he is and where they are today. So, people need to get out of their comfort zone. Most people prefer to have an office and just sit down and sell may be100 vehicles a month with a lot of profit. When it comes to manufacturing, it is a different ball game entirely, but that is what makes a country grow.

    How will the policy and the new fiscal measures impact on your own sector of the auto industry?
    In the case of Proforce, you know we import most of the things we use. We import the steel, the suspension, the glass and virtually everything that we use in building the vehicle. Definitely, by the time we start paying zero duty, the prices of our vehicles will be cheaper. We will be able to compete favourably with all the APCs and other armoured vehicles made all over the world. People will now be queing to our factory here in Nigeria to build armoured vehicles and we will be exporting. We will be earing foreign exchange for the country. Even within Nigeria, customers will be getting the vehicle at cheaper prices than those made abroad. So, nobody will go to America or Turkey or anywhere abroad, to buy armoured vehicles. They will buy from Nigeria, because the quality is the same, if not better. We have even started the process of ISO 900 certification. So, what else do we need?

    How Proforce’s products compare with imported competitors in terms of price?
    As of now, we are able to match their prices. For instance, if you want to armour a Landcruser with us, it is about $100, 000. That is just to armour . The cost of the vehicle is not inclusive. If you go abroad to armour a vehicle, it is $100, 000 too. If you want to armour a BMW 7 Senies with us, it is only about $100, 000; that is, about N17 million. The cost of the BMW 7 itself is about N24 million. N24 million plus N17 million will give you N41 million. So, you can see that we can compete favourably as of now. By the time the auto policy takes effect, we will be cheaper than those made abroad. So, Nigerians are even going to get armoured vehicles at prices way cheaper than what is imported.

    Does your company have the capacity to satisfy local demands?
    Our facility in Ode-Remo has the capacity for 40 armoured vehicles per month. It is designed and built to produce 40 vehicles per month. The one in Port Harcourt which we are starting by January can do 20 vehicles per month. So, we are talking about total of about 60 vehicles per month. We are in the process of putting up another one in Abuja, that will do close to 120 per month. So, by the time they are ready, we will be talking about 120 to 200 vehicles per month. That is more than enough. In fact, we will have excess vehicles for export.

    Why is armouring vehicles vehicles so expensive?
    It is so because of ballistic steel. The cost of ballistic steel is enormous. We are talking about steel of about 6.5 millimeter thickness. We are talking about adding a weight of at least 1000 kilos on a vehicle. So, the suspension has to be reinforced, which comes all the way from Australia. All the things are imported. But, with time, as the automotive policy gains ground, we will start producing these things in Nigeria. That is the advantage of the automotive policy.

    In that case, an armoured vehicle will certainly be too heavy. How do you manage weight problem?
    That is why when you want to armour a vehicle, we suggest that the engine capacity should be a minimum of 4.6 litres; that is, Landcruiser and above, so there will be a lot of power and torque to move the vehicle very well. And apart from that, it must have a reinforced suspension. Moreover, we always advise you don’t go more than 100 to 120 kilometres per hour. Above that, it is a bit dangerous, because the vehicle is very heavy and then you need to be trained on how to drive an armoured vehicle. It is not the same way you drive other vehicles. It is not the same way because when suddenly you apply your brake, it can throw the vehicle off the road completely. So we always advise that the maximum speed should be 120 kilometres per hour.

    Nigeria is among the top four countries importing armoured vehicles in the world. Does this worry you, especially when we are on the group with Iran and Afghanistan that are known for violence?
    Yes. It is a major concern. Insecurity is a major concern. But one thing I will say is that Nigeria is not Isolated when it comes to all this. When you look at the political situation in the country, don’t forget that we recently transited from military to civilian rule. We are still trying to find our feet under the civilian rule. All these things add up. We are having another election in less than three years time. Politics in this country is a bit of do-or-die. A lot of people just feel that they would be insecure. So, they want to protect themselves. That is one reason. The other reason is the level of threat to life in the northern area. I am talking about the Boko Haram issue and all that. Unfortunately, the insurgency situation is escalating, so people feel threatened in the north, and it is even spreading to the south due to the fact that we are talking about kidnapping. This is the reason why people feel they have to be protected. And then, even petty armed robbery is also a factor.

    How many armoured vehicles are imported into the country evry year?
    When you talk about the normal passenger vehicles, I think it is about 500 and 800 in a year. There are armoured personnel carriers imported by the Police.The Customs too. Add the ones imported by the military. By the time you add up all that, you will be talking about 1500 in a year.

    What is the target you aim to hit, may be in the next couple of years?
    You see, we believe that Proforce will make Nigeria to become the number one armouring country in the world. We are working hard on it, and we know that we would achieve it. This is because of the speed at which we are moving and the support we have from President Jonathan’s government, which is more than enough for even a dumb person to be able to get up and work hard. We want to be the number one armouring company in Africa, and then from Africa, we take up the whole world. I am sure by next year, we will start bidding for all sort of jobs all over the world. And, I am sure you known that by the time we get to that stage – when we start bidding for jobs all over the world – every single person will be proud to be a Nigeria. By then, we can bid for United Nations jobs, and others.

    You have in your plant some imported armoured luxury cars which owners brought for re-armouring. Is this an indication that the foreign vehicles were not good enough?
    Definitely, that is what has happened to a lot of Nigerians. Nigerians go abroad and import the wrong things entirely. For instance, how come that you go over there and import an armoured vehicle and only six months after you start having problems with the windscreen? That is pathetic. It means that that new windscreen has to be changed. How do you explain a situation where you import an armoured vehicle and you start having electrical problem, mechanical problem and suspension problem? That means that Nigerians are being short-changed and we have a lot of people bringing in their armoured vehicles basically bought from different manufacturers all over the world and all these vehicles are failing them. The government of a particular state bought some APCs sometime ago. We got complaints soon after that virtually all the APCs were down. People usually import the wrong vehicles. Most of these armoured vehicles that are imported are built on particular brand’s chassis. Most of the armoured vehicles on those chassis have parts problem, because we don’t even have the parts for Ford. All our armoured vehicles, all our cash-in transit vans are built on Toyota chassis. Toyota parts are all over the place. They don’t have problem with after-sales Even when you look at the boat we supplied to a state government, it is one of the best they have ever had in that state.
    Those who import these vehicles make all these mistakes. Some of them bring in vehicles that are over sensitive; computerized and so on. All these things don’t work. We go for the basic thing, and they work perfectly. When you are talking about military tanks, the designs are coming from collaborating with partners in France, but we are tailoring them to suit the Nigerian environment, African environment, so that they will be able to work like work horses in the African environment.

    Do you think Nigeria will ever get to the stage where it will become unnecessary to import armoured vehicles?
    We have already reached that point; the time is now. Armoured vehicles should not be imported into this county again. Proforce has the capability. We have the capacity. We have what it takes, and we are moving up, and we thank God for the wisdom of the Federal Government in putting a fresh auto policy in place.

    Auto policy aside, what other kind of encouragement do you still need to get to the position you have just talked about?
    All we need is the encouragement of the Armed Forces. We are not isolated. We cant work alone. With the encouragement of the military, with the support of the Federal Government which we are getting from President Jonathan and the Trade and Industry Minister, from the National Automotive Council and financial support from the Bank of Industry, now is the time to take control of our destiny.
    Foreign armoured vehicles have no reason to be imported into Nigeria as of today. I repeat it, and I am saying it again and again.”

  20. eniola says:

    Security forces raid Boko Haram
    camps in Borno forests
    JANUARY 4, 2014 BY FIDELIS SORIWEI
    5 Comments
    JTF
    | credits: File copy
    The Nigerian military is carrying out
    sustained ground and aerial raids on
    camps of members of the Boko Haram
    sect in Borno State.
    Investigations on Thursday revealed
    that the special forces had cleaned out
    several camps of the insurgents in the
    Sambisa forest in the state.
    A security source who confided in our
    correspondent said that the operation
    was one of the biggest since the
    escalation of the activities of the Boko
    Haram in the North Eastern part of the
    country.
    It was gathered that the security forces
    started the operation in the early hours
    of December 31, 2013, as a
    preemptive action against the
    insurgents who were said to have been
    engrossed with plans to launch
    multiple attacks on the Borno State
    Capital, Maiduguri.
    It was learnt that the ongoing
    operation involved heavy deployment
    of ground troops and Nigerian Air Force
    helicopters and fighter jets.
    Our correspondent learnt that several
    high caliber artillery weapons were
    deployed in the face-off with the
    insurgents.
    The source said that artillery weapons
    were deployed in such large numbers
    because of the calibre of weapons at
    the disposal of the insurgents and
    their audacious attacks on military
    formations recently.
    As at the time of filing this story, the
    operation to flush out the insurgents
    from the forests of the State was still
    ongoing.
    The source said that scores of
    insurgents had been killed in the
    sustained ground and aerial offensive,
    even though, the source could not put
    a figure to the number of the dead.
    The current operation is one of the
    several operations carried out by the
    Special Forces in combating the
    insurgents in the country.
    The Special Forces had carried out a
    major ground and aerial operation on
    the camps of the insurgents at the
    vast Sambisa Forest in May, 2013
    which resulted in the destruction of the
    camps and the seizure of arms and
    ammunition from the insurgents.
    Several people were also killed in the
    operation. Investigations, however,
    revealed that the Special
    Forces commenced the recent
    operation following the discovery that
    the insurgents were still operating
    from camps in the heart of the long
    forest.
    The Special Forces were said to have
    discovered that the insurgents planted
    mines deep into the forest for the
    Nigerian troops.
    It was said that the current operation
    was meant to ensure that no such
    camps were left in the forest.
    Prior to this operation, the Nigerian
    Security operatives foiled what would
    have been a major Boko Haram attack
    on Maiduguri, on Tuesday, December
    31, a day to the New Year.
    Investigations revealed that the
    Special Forces arrested 10 of the
    insurgents and killed one other in the
    operation.
    The security operatives are also said
    to be on the trail of 18 other
    insurgents who were said to be
    attempting to flee Maiduguri.
    A security source had said on Tuesday
    that the insurgents dispatched a 30-
    man team to carry out surveillance
    activities on strategic places in the
    state to counter a planned attack on
    the city on New Year’s Eve.
    According to the source, luck ran out
    on the insurgents when one of the
    operatives on the spy mission was
    apprehended at the park of the Borno
    Express Transport Company by the
    drivers of the transport firm who
    suspected his unusual conduct.

  21. eniola says:

    D end of boko haram is only near at sight

  22. eniola says:

    Gud to hear all dis frm proforce. Military really don’t nid to go outside. Lets fight wit our own weapons nd tools.

  23. eniola says:

    Except d lefties hav better quality product.

  24. eniola says:

    Am proud of proforce to b a nigerian.

  25. doziex says:

    Oga eniola thanks for your detailed post, but the end of bokoharam, is rather no where in sight.

    This is going to be a long war for the soul of our country, and the sooner we get up for this fight, the better.
    Remember as soon as the military offensive began months ago, many here said it was all over for bh.
    That sort of thinking has been debunked by subsequent events.

    I wish this threat was not the real deal, maybe Nigeria would get lucky once more.

    But no, there will be no such luck this time. We have to prepare properly, and fight our hearts out to win this one.

  26. eniola says:

    We nid to hav faith bros. D military nd other security agents must hav learnt frm deir mistak. Boko haram attacks hav been brought down drastically nd very fast compare to other nations dat re witnessing terrorism. Dey operate in at least 5 states b4 bt nw just in borno. As dey wr brought to an end in dis state, I hav faith dey wud b brought to an end in borno too( nigeria in general). Lets nt b negative minded nd start tinkin positive. Saying wat u said oga doziez can bring propaganda for boko haram. Nigeria shall excel nd win dis battle in d near future.

  27. cutievik says:

    Naija lazy journalism! Kai! Since they became aware special forces where drafted in to Bornu then a whole battalion of soldiers became “Special forces”…Good Lord! Lolz
    Well @oga Dozix i know this war has drag on than necessary but that should not desist the fact that an end is in soonest,I strongly hold this opnion high if this harassment of BH enclaves is sustained,knowing fully well the MoU with neighbouring Cameroon is been signed any moment from now Giving the Nigerian forces an edge once again putting BH on d defensive.This MoU should be exploited to the fullest with constant persistent harassment of BH members,destruction of safe heavens,obstruction of supply lines and massive raids on armouries if this can be done then BH end is surely near.

  28. Yagazie says:

    Oga beegz- Wishing you a Happy New year my brother! Ditto all my fellow cyber gens on this blog. 2014 will be a fruitful year for us all.

    Oga Beegz, yep you are quite correct in your analysis of the metamophosis of 3 Commando Div into 3rd Armoured Div. I was just being sentimental. However I still would wish to have Brig Gen BAM Adekunle (rtd) as the honourary lifetime GOC for the new Amphibious Div if possible. I also look forward to the day the Nigerian Army will have 2 Field Army Groups/corps each commanded by a Lt. Gen, with the COAS being a full four star Gen. I also look foward to the establishment of the Nig Army Air corp equipped with light attack helos.

    On another point, ProForce are doing a wonderful job- am especially happy that they will revive the armoured vehicle plant in Bauchi to manufacture/asseble APCs and eventually tanks. We however need to have Ajaokuta steel mill revived for the production of flat steel. With ProForce in full flow, we really have no reason now to purchase armoured vehicles or MRAPs for our military/security serivces from foreign countires. President GEJ is doing a good job as per our millitary, lets give him credit when credit is due. GOD Bless Naija!!

  29. beegeagle says:

    We are on the same page, my friend.

    I would be thrilled to have General BAM Adekunle as “GOC Emeritus”, “GOC in perpetuity” or “Honorary GOC” of any amphibious division of the NA. The “Black Scorpion” defined the art for the NA way back in 1967 when ours became the first army across the 3rd World to conduct amphibious landings…in the process moving a 30,000-man division into their AOR by sea.

    Since then, the NA have conducted many more amphibious insertions such as major landings in Monrovia, Freetown and the Bakassi Peninsula and made more modest efforts in the Niger Delta.

  30. peccavi says:

    I like some of these things I’m hearing. The delta as a single AO makes sense, as does giving 82 Div control into Benue. That way 82 can specialise on Mech Infantry, leave the new division to specialise in Marine Warfare.
    A heavy armoured division up north is again exactly what the doctor ordered.
    As a final I would suggest a light division based around Abuja/ Jos, in essence 2 Battle groups with a HQ, That are can be used to defend the capital but also as a strategic reserve. One Air Assault so pure light infantry with 120mm mortars etc/ 105s as fire support and the other mechanised.

    Now to add meat to the soup we need a proper complement of Attack Helicopters and close support aircraft. Each Division should have a squadron or wing that it partners with. For the armoured divisions I would suggest Hinds, for the Infantry Bells, maybe for the Marine Agustas or Lynxs so they can land on ships as well

    This is good, they are putting in place a structure that means we can stop this Task Force mentality, join-join mentality

  31. cutievik says:

    Oga peccavi,join join mentality no bi small.

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