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Nigeria spends N73.7bn importing arms, ammunition in three months



Nigeria spends N73.7bn importing arms ammunition in three months

This is according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2021 first-quarter foreign trade report, published at the weekend.

The report noted that between January and March of this year, N73.7 billion ammunition was imported, representing a 27.3 per cent increase over the total amount spent in the whole of the year 2020.

The Bureau also said the first quarter spend is a whopping 497,723 percent increase over the N14.8 million spent during the same time in 2018.

It was N12 billion in the first quarter of 2019, rising to N53.03 billion in the first three months of the following year.

Further analysis of the NBS data reveals that the increased cost of insecurity on Nigeria’s cash-strapped economy, with just N1.94 billion spent in 2018 before jumping to N12.77 billion in 2019.

In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had announced plans to enhance local manufacture of firearms for Nigeria’s military forces to reduce the country’s reliance on imported arms and ammunition,

According to reports, President Buhari directed the Ministry of Defence to draft clear and quantifiable plans for the construction of a small military-industrial complex for Nigeria.

“We must develop feasible methods for near-self-sufficiency in military equipment and logistical manufacturing, supplemented solely by extremely advanced foreign technologies,” the president had stated.

There is concern however about the status of local manufacturing, increase in the importation of imports may rightly be attributed to the level of insecurity the country is dealing with.

Others include banditry to kidnapping, Boko Haram, and the recent increase in attacks on government facilities which includes the Nigerian police.

A report by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) in November last year described Nigeria as the third most terrorized country in the world.
In fact, an analysis of data from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), in its Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) showed that since 2011 over 40,000 deaths have been recorded in the country from violence and terrorism.

According to CFR, the deaths were tracked from reports based on weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media.

CFR however noted that NST statistics should be viewed as indicative rather than definitive on the impact of violence in the country.

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