Two hundred thousand men under arms. Two hundred and fifty tanks, lots of artillery, attack drones, ISR aircrafts. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Buhari presidency has been his commitment to revitalizing Nigerian army.
President Mohammadu Buhari :
“We must evolve viable mechanisms for near-self-sufficiency in military equipment and logistics production complemented only by very advanced foreign technologies. The Ministry of Defence is being tasked to draw up clear and measurable outlines for development of a modest Military Industrial Complex for Nigeria.
In this regard, it is to liaise with other strategic MDAs and industries to re-engineer the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to meet national military hardware and logistics requirements.
“We recognized first and foremost, the external dimensions of these threats and the need for international cooperation and common security mechanisms to tackle them,” the President said.
We must apply a comprehensive strategy and coordinate all elements of national power against terrorism and insurgency; we must show result oriented leadership at all levels of military Command; we must set up an optimal organization to manage and sustain operational performance; and we must show confidence and winning mentality,”
This is not empty talk. The rhetoric has been matched by a concurrent allocation of resources. The size of the Nigerian army is now at its largest since the civil war half a century ago. President Buhari has pushed for the acquisition of platforms even over the objections from the Senate who worry about cost, and is currently taking flak from upper and lower house over the release of $450 million taken from the excess crude account for the purchase of 12 Super Tucano aircraft.
The dramatic increase in size and sophistication of the ground forces and General build up in all sectors of the military have all worked to resurrect the image of Nigeria as a growing military threat.
But make no mistake, Nigeria is not in a position to directly defend itself effectively against an above peer adversary such as France, whose spending still far outstrips that of Nigeria—but given other regional trend, it is restoring its conventional capabilities to back up claims to a regional power status.
The following is a list of the modern Nigerian army most important equipment. Because a comprehensive listing would be impractical for both the author and reader, only some of the main and important emerging systems are listed here
Combat operations in the northeast are carried out by a combination of Air Force Special Forces, Army Infantry units and in some cases Navy SBS Commandos, operating under a unified command structure.
The Beryl assault rifle, IWI Tavor assault rifle and Uzi submachine rifles are used interchangeably by ground units in all three components of the military.
The Nigerian army have been increasingly turning to these Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, to keep themselves from getting killed by roadside bombs.
Tech infusion and improved training will give Nigerian ground forces the ability to tackle future challenges.