By Sumaila Ogbaje
Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi has called for further defence cooperation with the Republic of Belarus in the area of a possible transfer of defence technology.
A statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Charles Nwodo on Friday said that Magashi made the call when he received a business delegation from Belarus on Thursday.
Magashi said the need for transfer of technology was to help Nigeria to advance its efforts in sourcing its basic armaments requirement locally and reduce reliance on foreign sources.
He said that Nigeria was interested in skills acquisition on intelligence gathering in support of its current campaign against insurgents in the northeast.
“In the nearest future, we will collaborate to work on a memorandum towards possessing some of your products, especially arms and ammunition which are modern and convenient.
“This is in addition to expansion in training on counter-terrorism,” he said.
The minister expressed appreciation to the government of Belarus for continued support and understanding in normalizing security challenges in Nigeria.
He stated that the long-standing relationship between the two countries had helped Nigeria to enhance the operational status of its armed forces in warfare equipment, platforms, and training of manpower.
Earlier, the head of the Belarus delegation, Col. Andrey Krasouski, said that the visit was to further strengthen the existing relationship between the two countries, especially in military equipping and personnel development in Intel and special forces techniques.
Krasouski said that the delegation would want to fast track understanding in arms acquisition, warfare equipment training, and development of specialised forces for specific operations.
He said that the delegation comprised top ranking officers from the country’s military equipment manufacturing company — BSVT New technologies Ltd.