The Ministry of Defence, on Thursday, claimed that they are not involved in the procurement of arms for the military in recent times.
The permanent secretary who spoke to newsmen after leading a team of officials to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the ministry, explained that unlike the practice in the past when the ministry was active in the purchase of arms, the responsibility shifted to the services in recent years to the exclusion of the ministry.
You will recall that the Federal Government had in not less than 48 hours ago, named a 13-man panel to probe arms procurement for the armed forces under the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan and late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Aliyu said, said: “That is the immediate need that the President is going to address on the probe. Definitely the ministry was involved in the procurement of arms sometimes, but in recent years the responsibility was shifted to the services.
Aliyu also disclosed that President Buhari had directed that the Ministry of Defence be co-opted into the probe panel.
According to him, it would be wrong to have excluded the ministry from the probe committee because of the depth of its involvement in arms procurement in the past, saying that the ministry had a lot to tell the committee.
He also expressed optimism that at the end of the probe, Nigeria would be able to have a value added arms procurement.
“Mr. President has asked that the ministry of defence be included in that committee, the ministry was very involved in the procurement in those years so definitely we have something to present to that committee.
“So we are part and parcel of that committee. The ministry is very excited that this committee has been formed, because our own concern apart from the administrative and financial support is to make sure that policy thrust is complied with, procurement of relevant equipment according to specification of Nigerian armed forces is being complied with and we are very happy for that.
“At the end of this, we hope to have procurement that will be value added, cost effective and will meet our needs both locally and internationally,” he said.
On the successes recorded so far by the armed forces in war against insurgents, the Perm Sec expressed optimism that the worrisome menace would soon be a thing of the past, adding that the military was working round the clock to meet the December deadline handed them by the President to end insurgency in the country.