Today’s edition of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Weekly Subject Experts’ Presentation was held at Hall C, TY Buratai Block, Abuja. There were four presentations made by the Subject Experts covering Nigeria, West Africa and Gulf Guinea, Indian Sub-Continent and Western Europe, and the UK
The first presentation was made by Brig Gen MF Babayo, a subject expert covering Nigeria. The presentation centered on how important SMEs are to Nigeria’s Economy. In Africa, the SME sector accounts for about 90 percent of the enterprises located in both rural and urban areas, where they provided a more equitable distribution of income in all spheres of the countries. The presentation explained that inadequate infrastructure, multiple taxations, lack of technological know-how, corruption, weak institutional and regulatory framework among others have over time limited the expansion of SME’s in Nigeria. He further highlighted strategies to tackle the challenges of SMEs in Nigeria. These are global advocacy for SME finance, provision of soft loans to SMEs, and feasible long-term loans to SMEs among others.
The second presentation was made by Brig Gen OF Ohunyeye Subject Expert for Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. The senior officer’s presentation focused on the gruesome killing of innocent boys in Burkina Faso that was widely circulated on social media. Though the Burkina Faso military has denied responsibility, the Armed Conflict Locating and Event Data Project reported that Burkina Faso security forces killed about 300 civilians between Oct – Feb 22. The presentation explained that Nigeria has witnessed incidents of heavy-handedness and disregarded due process by some security personnel. It cited some instances of perceived brutality and allegations of extrajudicial killings by the military and the Nigeria Police Force. Gen Ohunyeye highlighted the following as the way forward: Impartial and independent investigation of the killing, the establishment of a robust oversight mechanism, and eliminating barriers to justice and redness. He recommended that personnel of the Nigeria Police, military, and other security agencies are to undergo extensive joint training to create an interface with civilians that should be formulated encouraged, and mainstreamed.
The third presentation was made by Brig Gen OD Donibo subject expert for the Indian sub-continent. This presentation discussed the recent bilateral concise and joint bilateral drills by the U.S. and Indian Airforce. He noted that it was conducted as a possible countermeasure for the Chinese in the Indo-Pacific region. He then noted the different alignment and strategic partnership being made on the international scene in line with Russia – Ukraine War and the attempt to create a new world Order. In the course of the presentation, he went on to highlight Nigeria’s traditional nonalignment stance noting that this right has prevented Nigeria from taking advantage of conflicts. He thus advocated for a better approach in which Nigeria could positively benefit from and further profit from its own national and strategic interests.
The Last presentation was made by Maj Gen GB Audu subject expert on Western Europe and the U.K The presentation features the Qataris Sheikh Jassim New Bid to Manchester United. The chairman of the Islamic Bank of Qatar Jassim summited a new bid offer of about 5 billion pounds (&6.12bn) which is completely debt–free. Such a price will make Manchester United the most expensive sports club in history although it would be short of the 6 – billion pound (&7.3bn) valuation repeatedly placed on United by its current US-based owner. In his analysis and lessons for Nigeria, he noted that football is one of the unifying factors which has suffered service neglect over the years. Nigeria has lost its glory in all kinds of footballing competitions. He pointed out the following factors as bedeviling football development and growth in Nigeria: lack of sponsorship, lack of television live broadcasts of local league matches, poor officiating, insufficient funding and poor remuneration for match officials.
Present at the briefing were the Director of Research, Professor CBN Ogbogbo, Senior Research Fellows, Consultants, Directors, Research Fellows, Senior officers both serving and retired and other management staff of the Centre.