Thursday, April 28, 2016 5:01 pm
France has pledged to help Nigeria strengthen its military capability towards containing security threats around its territory in the Gulf of Guinea and the Sahel region.
The pledge is contained in a communiqué issued in Abuja on Thursday at the end of a meeting of the France-Nigeria High Defence Committee.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Amb. Danjuma Sheni, read the communiqué.
Sheni said the committee, which held its maiden meeting in Abuja from April 27 to April 28, also agreed on other strategic, tactical and operational areas of support for the Nigerian military.
“Deliberations focused on areas of mutual interest aimed at strengthening the cordial bilateral relations between both countries on security and defence.
“Accordingly, discussions were held in four thematic areas; strategic dialogue, military technical cooperation, intelligence and equipment procurement.
“To this end, the regeneration of the Lake Chad for the economic enhancement of the people in that region was stressed, the meeting also considered the need for increased support for the Multinational Joint Task Force as well as security of the geo-strategic Gulf of Guinea.
“In the area of Military Technical Cooperation, the meeting identified training programmes for the Armed Forces of Nigeria, equipping of the Special Forces and Special Boat Services.’’
Sheni said the committee also agreed to initiate and implement programmes that would consolidate the recent achievements of the Nigerian security forces in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.
He said France would assist Nigeria in identifying credible manufacturers of military hardware in order to enhance the armed forces’ capacity to tackle contemporary security threats.
“At the end of the deliberations, the High Defence Committee endorsed Joint Border Exercises proposal by the EFS for the third quarter of 2016 in Nigeria with the view to strengthening cooperation between neighboring Armed Forces and prevent threats of terrorism in the region.
“Agreed that France will assist in the analysis of Boko Haram recovered assets and share the products of the analysis with the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“Agreed in promoting multi-lateral intelligence sharing in support of the Multi National Joint Task Force.’’
According to the permanent secretary, the committee will hold its next meeting in Paris on an agreed date in 2017 to assess the implementation of resolutions reached at its maiden meeting.
France-Nigeria High Defence Committee was constituted during President Buhari’s last visit to France.