by Staff Writers
Abuja, Nigeria (UPI) Jul 17, 2012
Nigeria's Ministry of Defense has projected spending $16.4 billion within the next four years.
ICD Research/Strategic Defense Intelligence's "The Nigerian Defense Industry - Market Opportunities and Entry Strategies, Analyses and Forecasts to 2016" report forecasts Nigerian defense expenditure, in 2012 budgeted for $2.19 billion, will grow annually at 22 percent to $4.76 billion by 2016, for a total increase of 126.6 percent within four years.
The Nigerian military is beset by a number of indigenous threats. In the north of the country, the Boko Haram Islamic religious movement is intensifying its struggle against both government military forces and the country's Christian population. On Nigeria's coast, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has for the last several years been targeting foreign oil firms with everything from taking hostages to attacking energy installations. Nigeria also faces a nascent but growing piracy problem.
Of the projected 2012-16 military budget, $14.55 billion -- or 88.8 percent -- would be invested in personnel with the remaining $1.83 billion be spent on equipment and infrastructure development costs, the Leadership newspaper reported Monday.
Nigeria is making strenuous efforts to develop an indigenous armaments industrial base. In June President Goodluck Jonathan officially opened a newly established ballistic arms factory, the DICON-Marom factory in Kaduna, which has produced Nigeria's first indigenously manufactured armored personnel carrier, the Igirigi.
The DICON-Marom munitions plant is a public-private partnership between DICON and Israel's Marom Dolphin Nigeria Ltd, which was also commissioned to manufacture bulletproof vests and other military clothing.
Indicating the increasing sophistication of Nigeria's armaments industry in May it launched its first warship, the NNS Andoni P100. The 100-foot-long Nigerian Navy Seaward Defense Boat was promoted as a research and development project by Vice Adm. G.T.A. Adekeye and Rear Adm. G.J. Jonah.
At the June 1 commissioning of the NNS Andoni Nigerian Naval Dockyard in Lagos during the 56th anniversary celebrations of the navy, Jonathan told an audience: "This is the beginning of transformation and I believe that in another 10-15 years, we will be thinking of starting a project of taking Nigeria to the air.
"We have just started and we will continue," he said. "With the current repositioning of the country ... already, a number of things are now being fabricated locally. I was in Lagos recently to inaugurate one of such; equipment for drilling and marine are currently being built locally. This is the beginning of transformation.
"There cannot be transformation without a technological revolution in the nation; this is the beginning."
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Sudan rebels claim Darfur helicopter shoot-down
Khartoum (AFP) July 17, 2012
Rebels in Sudan's conflict-plagued Darfur region on Tuesday claimed they shot down a military helicopter which the army said crashed because of a malfunction, killing seven. "Our people attacked this helicopter.... They downed one of them," said Hussain Minnawi, a member of the political bureau in the Sudan Liberation Army faction led by Minni Minnawi. The attack happened about mid-day ... read more
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