By Austin Peacemaker, Abuja NIGERIA
The Chief of Defence Staff,General Gabriel Olonisakin has lauded the ongoing India-Nigeria Defence Collaboration on the proposed long range IED Detectors, adding that it will give impetus to the ongoing counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in Nigeria.
The Defence Chief stated this during the visit of the India High Commissioner Ambassador Abhay Thakur to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Friday 24 January 2020.
The Indian Government has reiterated her commitment to further enhance the existing 60 years of defence collaboration with Nigeria in order to expand both nations’ defence capabilities.
The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Abhay Thakur who stated the above also said his visit to DHQ was to facilitate closer ties between India and Nigeria in order to deepen the existing diplomatic and defence relations of the two nations, which he said was instituted in 1960. He stressed that his country remains committed towards the existing defence relations between both countries which he said involves capacity development training, acquisition of platforms and logistics support, as well as Research and Development (R&D).
Ambassador Thakur further disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the development of Long Range Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Detectors, signed by Indian and Nigerian Defence Research Bureaus will enhance both country’s defence architectures.
He pointed out that aside defence collaboration, the Indian Government is ready to partner with Nigeria in other areas of national interest and development.
The Indian Ambassador expressed appreciation to the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Nigerian Navy for their active involvement in rescuing some Indian Nationals who were kidnapped by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
He also extended invitation to members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to this year’s India Defence Expo.
Responding, the CDS, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, said the visit will strengthen the defence space of the two countries.
He added that the diplomatic relations and the defence collaboration dates back to the early 60s, during which the Indian Government played a major role in the establishment of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), which has become a cradle and a citadel of learning for producing and grooming officers for the AFN.