OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has expressed readiness to investigate an estimated sum of $47.387million spent on arms importation in 2019.
The lawmakers will also probe the quality and quantity of arms and ammunition purchased for security agencies in the last 10 years by the federal government.
This was made known at the inauguration of an ad-hoc Committee saddled with the responsibility “to review the purchase, use and control of arms, ammunition and related hardware by military, paramilitary and other law enforcement agencies” which held in the National Assembly complex on Thursday.
In his opening remarks, chairman of the committee, Mr. Olaide Akinremi, said Nigeria is said the investigation will cover “the quality and quantity of arms and ammunition purchased in the last ten years by a clear inquest into the relevant tools and equipment, as well as ammunition as to whether evidence exist or not.”
Speaking further, he said “the inaugural meeting is primarily set to create an awareness of the originating definition of the substantive fundamental principal of the hearing. Therefore the committee has commenced legislative process of evidence-gathering towards accomplishing this legislative assignment. It is through evidence gathered that the committee would be able to deliver on this all important national assignment that will guarantee security, economic growth and national development”.
The lawmaker said there is need for unfettered efficiency in the management of the economy of all nations, and procurement, for which arms and ammunition form a substantial proportion of up to 12 percent of global GDP in 2018.
He pointed out that the percentage for Africa stood at 13.5, while Nigeria’s was 14.25 percent.
“Arguably, the International Trade Centre ranks Nigeria 4th in Africa, and 52 in the world in arms importation,” he said.
He said the inauguration, which was attended by representatives of the heads of the concerned security outfits, was primarily set to create awareness of the originating definitions of the substantive fundamental principles of the hearing.
Akinremi said the committee has commenced its legislative process of evidence however urged all stakeholders to comply accordingly.
“As a way forward, the Committee shall require your utmost, timely and kind cooperation for the purpose of completeness. It shall be mandatory for chief executives, heads of concerned institutions to attend to all inquiries, written or oral, and physically present at all sessions of the Committee hearings such that will assist our work, and form basis for our subsequent interactions with you,” he said.
It would be recalled that the House at its sitting on December 8, 2020 mandated the committee to carry out the findings.