The Nigerian Army is to collaborate with the Ministry of Communications in the application of new technologies to tackle the activities of insurgents and other security challenges in the country.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said this on Monday in Abuja when he led officers of the army on a visit to the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu.
Buratai said the use of technology like the galaxy backbone; satellite and data communication would go a long way in addressing the security challenges in Nigeria.
The army chief said they were in the ministry to partner in the area of communication security, adding that communication is vital to military operations and general administration.
“We have a number of platforms in the North-East and Niger-Delta and we need a closer collaboration from the ministry of communications.
“With the availability of the galaxy backbone and satellite outfit, we know that these facilities and institutions have great impact in terms of our communication needs.
“We have been collaborating already in terms of providing the basic communication and other facilities we need to expand further and this is vital.
“National security is the key and we can collaborate more in the fight against Boko Haram and other security challenges in the country to enable us carry out our task more efficiently and professionally,’’ he said.
Burutai added that the army was also working closely with telecommunication firms in the North-East towards reinstalling masts destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents.
He said that the military was not overwhelmed by the recent activities of militants in the Niger Delta, but needed a robust collaboration to end security threats
On the recent compulsory retirement of some senior military officers, Buratai said the exercise followed due process and in accordance with the laws governing the force.
Responding, Shittu commended Burutai for his leadership quality that has led to the success achieved in the fight against Boko Haram.
“This achievement is due to the leadership the Chief of Army Staff has been providing and when you have the right leadership things can be different.
“I am happy that the COAS in the realisation of the importance of this ministry decided to pay a visit with the view to getting collaboration between the army and this ministry.
“I believe that only the best can come out of this collaboration we are laying the foundation today. This ministry with the various departments has the best that can transform the army.’’
Shittu pledged the ministry’s readiness to contribute in no small way in developing further the army in the country.
The minister also expressed the readiness of the ministry to ensure that all destroyed masts in the North-East are fixed by the telecommunication operators.
“If there is no security, no business will strive and if their security challenges telecommunication business will crash, if there is no security lives and properties will be in jeopardy,’’ said Shittu.
On the issue of MTN fine, the minister said that Nigerians should be happy that the matter had been laid to rest once and for all.
Shittu said: “We in government needs the private sector just as the private sector needs government to make progress.
“Government business is not necessarily run on the pages of newspapers; you wouldn’t know what transpired between stakeholders. I want to assure you that I am aware with all the decisions that were taken.
“And I want to assure you that those decisions were taken in the best interest of Nigeria, it does not have to be in my own personal best interest.”