A key shame as Nigeria fights insecurity is that despite spending billions of naira, the nation has been unable to develop an indigenous security industry in equipment design, development and manufacturing. While the ethical dilemma remains, the fact is this: if the parliament has inserted a simple clause like “10% of this money must be spent on locally sourced equipment”, we could be on the path of building indigenous capacity in defense.
Simply, from night vision goggles to drones to mapping systems, many defense startups would have mushroomed. Yes, if Defense HQs spent 10% of its budget on Nigerian defense startups, we would have added more than 1 million jobs since 2013!
But you know one thing? The latest request to borrow $6.18 billion should only be approved by inserting this clause: 10% of this money must be spent on indigenous products and services in any portion earmarked for security. Also, the newly planned $1.76 borrowing for security should also require 10% to be spent on indigenous products and entities.
Nigeria plans to borrow 722.53 billion naira ($1.76 billion) from domestic capital markets for additional security spending, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said on Wednesday.
As part of Nigeria’s security spending, the World Bank also agreed to allow the government to restructure existing loans of 39.58 billion naira to supplement the funds, she told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
The cabinet also approved an allocation of 83.56 billion naira for the purchase and deployment of 30 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
Do not tell me that we do not have these products and companies. I can tell you that if Nigeria opens this playbook, some of our citizens in US, Europe, etc will relocate to build companies with their home brethren to take advantage of these opportunities. Indeed, this is an opportunity to seed a new creative sector in the nation.---
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