By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, has inaugurated a 24-Man Implementation/Advisory Committee to drive the implementation of the recommendations on the Reform Committee on armed forces reforms.
Magashi said that the committee had the mandate to facilitate the speedy implementation of the recommendations contained in the Reform Committee’s Report submitted to him in April.
He said that it was in line with government’s drive to reposition the defence sector by bridging the worrisome gaps existed in the structure and operations of the nation’s armed forces.
According to him, the interface between the ministry of defence and the armed forces has also impacted negatively on the efficiency of this sensitive institution.
“We in the Ministry of Defence identified the need to effectively and efficiently articulate policies and think strategically as well as being able to superintend over the armed forces and the Defence Headquarters.
“It is gratifying to mention that the Reform Committee made far reaching submissions which if implemented, would significantly address the inherent challenges militating against the effective functioning of ministry and the armed forces,’’ he said.
The minister urged the committee to cooperate with relevant stakeholders and enforce compliance if necessary without deviating from its approved terms of reference.
He said that the committee would examine the recommendations of the Reform Committee’s report and classify them into immediate, short, medium, and long term as appropriate.
They are to institute necessary mechanisms to facilitate the implementation of recommendations that are within the approval threshold of the Minister of Defence and take necessary steps for their implementation.
The committee will also identify recommendations that require liaison with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and embark on advocacy campaign to gain their support as well as take necessary steps for their Implementation.
“It will produce draft instruments/letters in respect of recommendations that require Mr President’s attention by way of executive orders or bills for legislation by the National Assembly.
“It will also monitor progress in the implementation of the recommendations by MOD, DHQ and the Services’ Headquarters and develop strategies to address any envisaged delays/bottlenecks in the implementation of the recommendations.
The committee will perform such other functions as may be assigned by the Convening Authority from time to time and make other suggestions hat will assist in the efficient implementation of the reform committee’s report,” he said.
Magashi said the committee would be chaired by retired Maj.-Gen. Alwali Kazir, a former Chief of Army Staff with membership drawn from well “enlightened senior citizens of the country.
He urged the committee to complete its deliberations and submit its _ report within 6 weeks from today.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mr Istifanus Musa, urged the committee to deploy their wealth if experience to bear while carrying out the assignment.
Musa said that such reform was seriously needed considering the current security situation of the country.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Kazir, pledged the committee’s commitment to carrying out their duties in line with terms of reference.
Kazir said the committee would ensure that the nation had an armed forces that would function efficiently in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment.
He said that the members of the committed were conscious of the desire to deliver results that would enhance Nigeria’s national security, protect its democracy and above all serve national political will.
According to him, it is worthy to reiterate that the military as an instrument of national power, is not designed to just win wars for the sake of perpetuating violence, but rather to function in concert with other instruments of national power. (NAN)