President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has stressed the need for the legislature and the executive to work toward improved armed forces through local content development.
The remark is contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Mr Sanni Onogu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said Saraki expressed the readiness of the National Assembly to support the Nigerian Air Force in the deployment of made-in-Nigeria technology in its operations.
“Nigeria must maximize the applicability of the cutting edge designs that are on display today and countless others that have been neglected over the years.
“As we do this, we must begin to look inwards to provide funding for these ideas that can help us address our current security challenges and advance our military technology.’’
Sarki said the Senate, through the passage of laws like the Public Procurement Act and the ongoing consideration of the Federal Competition Bill, would continue to provide legal platforms to enable local enterprise and innovation.
He commended the leadership of the Air Force for leading the way in innovation and local content development.
Saraki said the senate would provide level playing fields to allow local innovators and entrepreneurs benefit from the N2 trillion yearly in the Public Procurement Process.
“Just last week, the Senate pushed Nigeria one step closer to joining the ranks of countries in the world with research and development institutions that are dedicated to the advancement of their domestic aerospace and aviation sectors.
“This occurred with the passage of the Air Force Institute of Technology establishment Bill.
He said that with the legislative framework in place, it would enhance strategic standing amongst Nigeria’s allies in West Africa and around the world.
He stressed the need for investment to maximize the value of the nation’s local content development efforts.
“We must also broaden our vision for the Air Force and all our other security forces.
“I strongly believe that if we are serious about developing our security and weapons industry, with a public and private sector driven approach, we can achieve near self-sufficiency by the year 2036. However, we must start now.”