The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin on Thursday inaugurated four locally manufactured Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for the Nigerian Army.

This is to aid the war against insurgency in the Northeast and Northwest zones of the country.

The vehicles which were manufactured by Proforce, a specialist in the manufacturing of Amoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), Mine Resistant and Ambush Protected vehicles, was in collaboration with the Nigerian army.

Inaugurating the vehicles, Olonisakin commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for his foresight and commitment to the fight against insurgency and other forms of insecurity in the country.

He said the armed forces must continue to develop capacity to confront the security situations in the country.

Also speaking, Buratai disclosed that the vehicles were produced in partnership with Nigerian army, adding that Proforce had given one of such for trial which was eventually bought in 2017.

According to him, eight were subsequently ordered, with the first two being delivered in 2018 and inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in Monguno, Borno State.

“This is the third consignment that we are receiving consisting of the four ARA vehicles and we still have five more to be delivered soon as part of 2019 procurement.

“This is a step in the right direction and our ability to produce such vehicles locally will go a long way in ensuring that we do not only save but also have the ability to get them quickly to be able to deploy them.

“The maintenance capacity and capability of our electrical and mechanical engineers will be enhanced to make it easier for us to maintain in the field.

“In conjunction with other industries also, the defence industry is cooperating with the Nigerian Army through the command engineering depot.

“We have about 20 of this type of vehicles, although not of this standard but has very good resistance and protection. By the end of this month, we will also display them.

“As soon as they are unveiled, we will move them straight to the northeast and also the northwest for operations,’’ he said.

The Managing Director of Proforce, Mr Ade Ohundeyin, said that every single thing in the vehicle was designed and manufactured in Nigeria.

Ohundeyin disclosed that the vehicle could run for 50 kilometres with a flat or punctured tyres.

“It also has in the system to always reflate the tyre even when punctured,’’ he said.

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