Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), affirmed the Nigerian Army’s commitment to collaborating with key stakeholders within the Defence and Security Industry. This determination to engage reputable partners aims to procure essential equipment and platforms that will significantly elevate the Army’s operational effectiveness.
General Lagbaja made these assertions recently, during the Fourth Quarter 2023 Procurement Seminar held at the Army War College Nigeria in Abuja.
During the seminar themed “Implications of the New Central Bank of Nigeria Foreign Exchange Policy on International Trade: Challenges for the Nigerian Army,” the COAS emphasized the critical importance of government policies in the successful execution of the Army’s constitutional mandate.
He specifically highlighted the impact of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent Foreign Exchange Policy on contracts requiring foreign exchange, noting its adverse effects on the Nigerian Army’s contractual commitments.
General Lagbaja stressed the need for a mutual understanding of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy among stakeholders, indicating that the seminar’s theme was chosen to address this necessity.
He underscored the growing relevance of military logistics contractors in the Army’s sustainability plans, citing the imperative for mutual understanding among stakeholders to maximize the Government’s allocations to the Nigerian Army.
The Army Chief also emphasized the establishment of the Directorate for ‘contract and contractor relationship management,’ aiming to ensure transparency, fairness, and integrity in the execution of various contracts and projects.
He asserted a firm stance against any form of shortchanging, promising rigorous scrutiny to ensure contractors adhere to agreed terms.
Expressing appreciation for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s support in enabling the procurement of essential requirements, General Lagbaja acknowledged the unwavering support from various stakeholders, including the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Bureau of Public Procurement.
Meanwhile, Major General Adeyinka Adereti, the Director of Procurement, highlighted the seminar’s objective: enhancing participants’ understanding of operational contract support amidst evolving global contexts.
He emphasized the significant role played by public procurement and foreign exchange policies in guiding contract awards and the procurement of platforms to bolster the Army’s operational capabilities.
The seminar’s opening ceremony featured engaging interactive sessions, group photographs, and presentations of souvenirs to resource persons, discussants, and moderators, signaling a commitment to fostering robust partnerships for a more efficient procurement system aligned with international best practices.