President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated 700 Ashok Leyland troops-carrying vehicles for the Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday.
The inauguration was done virtually.
Buhari said the procurement of the vehicles was in response to the prevailing security challenges bedeviling the nation.
He said the vehicles were assembled locally by Stallion Motors for the armed forces, saying it marked a milestone in the annals of the Nigerian military, especially as troops were engaged in operations in various theatres.
He said the procurement was a demonstration of his commitment and the importance the government attached to the fight against insecurity in the overall safety and security of the country.
According to him, insecurity is not peculiar to Nigeria as it had impacted negatively on global, regional and sub-regional peace and security.
It has given rise to massive continental immigration, internally displaced persons and great humanitarian crisis across the world, he noted.
“Consequently governments had employed varying degrees of hard and soft power elements to tackle the evolving insecurity.
“As a country, we are very proud that in the first 10 years, we have been able to revitalise our armed forces for the full restoration of Nigeria’s territorial integrity that was once violated by Boko Haram insurgents and other forms of criminality.
“Some of you may recall that in my inaugural speech as president, I promised to put an end to Boko Haram insurgency, which hitherto had posed a grave threat to Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
“In fulfilling this promise, I made professionalism and capacity building of the armed forces, a major security thrust of this administration.
“Training and acquisition of brand new platforms and other supporting equipment for the armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies were intensified.
“The procurement process of military hardware was simplified, thereby reducing inefficiency and corruption and adequately improved our military so that they could effectively discharge their constitutional responsibilities,’’ he said.
The president expressed confidence that the newly-acquired vehicles would increase the capacity of the armed forces, thereby adding to the conduct of security operations.
He charged the armed forces to consolidate on the gains they had achieved towards sustained peace and stability in the country.
The president also commended the armed forces for the resolve to defeat insurgency and the supportive roles in maintaining law and order as was demonstrated in the just-concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
“I want to assure you all that this administration will continue to support you in every respect, including improving troops’ welfare and those of their families.
“The Federal Government remains, steadfast and committed to winning the war against insurgency and other criminalities,’’ Buhari stressed.
In his remarks, Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, said the procurement was another significant milestone amongst many initiatives of the Buhari administration in repositioning the nation’s military to tackle contemporary security challenges.
Magashi said Nigeria had been facing myriad of daunting security challenges, such as insurgency, militancy, kidnapping as well as cattle rustling and banditry in several parts.
He said the security challenges had been confronted with a lot of zeal and professionalism through the transformational reforms of the current administration.