In a bid to curb Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries, the Federal Government has on Wednesday solicited the support of the Russian Federation.
Speaking at the 8th Moscow “Conference on International Security”, the minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, sought Russia’s aid in securing the maritime domain of the Gulf of Guinea.
Dan-Ali stressed that Russia’s experience in counter-terrorism operations is required to curb terrorism saying “Military and technical assistance in this respect will be highly appreciated.”
Stating the series of bombings and killings of many innocent citizens in the northeast of the country, he said Russia’s cooperation in infrastructural development and modernisation of Nigeria’s military arsenal was needed.
“It is the intention of Nigeria to leverage on Russia’s support to attain technological emancipation of our Military Industrial Complex and training of Nigerians especially in medicine, science and technology.’’
Dan-Ali lamented the rise in terrorism and insurgency in the continent with specific reference to Boko Haram in Lake Chad Basin countries, Al-Shabaab in Somalia/Kenya, and Islamic State in Mali.
According to him, “Nigeria has been combating terrorism engendered by an Islamic Sect called Boko Haram Since 2009.”
“Owing to the sustained counterinsurgency operations by Nigeria and other countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission which include Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, the Boko Haram terrorist network has been overwhelmed and the leadership structure is presently decimated.’’
He said: ”Russia is the biggest market in Europe, while Nigeria is the biggest market in Africa. The trade relations have been below expectation leaving a gap for many unexploited potentials.”
”Nigeria will also be interested in Russia helping to build nuclear power plants, petroleum pipelines, railways and other infrastructural development investments in oil and gas sector.”
The minister further commended the Russian government for its numerous training and scholarship which have been of immense benefit to Nigerians over the years, as well as recent military hardware procurement initiative.