By Joy Odor
The Minister of Defence, Retired Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi says Nigeria is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with United Arab Emirates (UAE), to fast track military joint training, exchange of intelligence and mutual cooperation in technology transfer of knowledge in favour of Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).
He said the procurement of military equipment and the technology transfer should be carried out strictly on government -to- government basis for transparency, reliability accountability and sustainability.
The Minister made this known when the United Arab Emirates, (UAE), Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Fahad Obaid Al – Taffaq paid a courtesy call on him at the Ministry of Defence Abuja.
Gen. Magashi (Rtd) reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to strengthening bilateral and multilateral ties with friendly countries to add technical and tactical values to the current military campaigns as part of strategic measures to end banditry and terrorism in the country.
He said Nigeria has come a long way with UAE in the international diplomatic arena as a dependable partner in the membership of the United Nations (UN), Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Special Assistant to the Minister of Defence on Media and Publicity, Mr Mohammad Abdulkadri in a statement said the Minister referenced the high-level visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to his counterpart, Khalifa bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi in 2016 and the most recent in 2019 as pointers to Nigeria’s favourable disposition to UAE overtures to synergize efforts on mutual concerns including military bilateral cooperation.
Earlier, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Fahad Al -Taffaq said the need to establish robust military bilateral cooperation with Nigeria informed his visit.
Ambassador Al – Taffaq said UAE is ready to share her experience in counter-terrorism exploit and technical capability to support and complement Nigerian military campaigns to end banditry and insurgency plaguing the country.
He said his country is open to high-level talks that will culminate in the signing of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding as a working tool for future collaborative engagements.