Gen Musa Leads Service Chiefs to Defence Ministry as Perm Sec Seeks Improved Civil-Military Relations
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Major General Christopher Musa has reaffirmed the commitment of the armed forces to collaborate with the Ministry of Defence in addressing security threats and achieving the President’s mandates.
Gen Musa who led other newly appointed service chiefs on a courtesy call to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar Kana said that the visit was to strengthen the working relationship between the military and the ministry as they worked together towards common goals.
The service chiefs led by Gen Musa, included the Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, chief of army staff, rear admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, chief of naval staff,
Air vice marshal Hassan Abubakar, the chief of air staff and Maj General Emmanuel Undiandeye, chief of defence intelligence.
While welcoming his guests to the Defence House, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Kana urged the service chiefs to sustain civil-military relationship.
He said the ongoing implementation of reforms of the MoD and the Armed Forces, which were initiated during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari are achieving results on joint operations.
He said the reform initiatives encompass various aspects, including the establishment of the Octagon, a platform that fosters civilian-military collaboration towards enhancing national security.
He added that the Ministry of Defence is dedicated to the development of Nigeria’s military industrial complex through Defence Industries Corporation (DICON) aimed at promoting local development, employment, and self-sufficiency in arms, ammunition, and other military hardware production, supporting both the economy and national security.
The permanent secretary also informed his guests that the Federal Government was exploring the possibility of engaging the Nigerian Navy in fish harvesting activities along the country’s coastal waters towards employments and revenue generation.
He also expressed concern over international incursions into Nigerian waters.
“Nigeria is covered by waters, and there is no reason why the military can not support the country through the waters. The Ministry of Defence is committed to working closely with the Armed Forces hierarchy to address insecurity and support the realization of Nigeria’s Blue Economy potential under the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu”
According to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nigeria loses $60 million annually to illegal fishing, while the West African region suffers a staggering loss of $1.3 billion worth of fish due to illegal trade. Foreign fishing fleets, driven by rising global demand for fish, pose a significant threat to the livelihoods and nutrition of millions of people in Africa. Although European trawlers remain the primary foreign presence, fleets from China, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan have also expanded in recent years, depleting fish stocks and leaving local fishermen struggling to make a living.
To counter this challenge, the Permanent Secretary is urging the Armed Forces to capitalize on this opportunity and redirect the revenue potential back to Nigeria. He aims to turn the tide against illegal fishing activities and protect the interests of Nigerian fishermen.
He expressed high expectations for the armed forces and acknowledged the positive start of the new service chiefs, aligning with the clear mandates set by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He said the MOD will continue to contribute to the health security of the country.