Claim: A Facebook page claimed that a Nigerian company is producing warship vehicles for military procurement by the Nigerian Defense Force and other countries.
The company, Proforce Defence, has been manufacturing military equipment since 2008 for more than 300 clients. It also has bases in Dubai and India.
Nigeria is among the top-ranking countries battling insecurity in West Africa, with the advancement of the dreaded Boko Haram, banditry, and kidnapping, among other crises. According to the 2022 Global Safety Perception Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Nigeria ranked 75th out of 141 countries globally.
But in the 2023 Global Terrorism Index produced by the IEP, Nigeria is the eighth country with the worst terrorism impact, two places better than the previous year in the tenth position. The improvement is evident in the reduced number of death cases from terrorism between 2021 (497) and 2022 (385).
The safety of lives and properties in the country is not assured, and Nigerians are constantly pleading that the government invest more in military equipment procurement for personnel. Different social media accounts claimed that Nigeria is producing sophisticated military vehicles to aid the plea.
An instance is a Facebook user named Willy Ibimina Jim-George, who shared some pictures of military vehicles with the caption, “BOOM! The Nigerian Army, as part of the Army Day celebration, displayed several Made-In-Nigeria military vehicles. So proud of Nigeria (sic).”
While it is good news that Nigeria can produce enough resources to tackle insecurity, some are sceptical about its authenticity in the post’s comment section.
Abubakar Mohammed Hashim urged the poster to desist from misleading the public. He wrote, “Please stop spreading lies and misinformation. Most of them were imported to Nigeria.”
Despite watching the parade’s live broadcast, Suleiman Sani could not believe it. He said:
“I watched this live, but I was surprised that we have all this equipment and we’re still facing insecurity day by day. It is obvious that it is just for decoration.”
To confirm the possibility of a Made-In-Nigeria military vehicle, DUBAWA ran a check.
We ran keyword searches to find out if Nigeria produces such vehicles and discovered that the Nigerian Army itself produced Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in 2022, under the leadership of Major General Victor Ezugwu as the Managing Director of the Defence Industries Corporation (DICON).
The corporation started operation in 2019 after getting unveiled by then-President Muhammadu Buhari in collaboration with the Nigerian Army Command Engineering Depot.
The 4×4 Armoured vehicle can allegedly carry out transportation in smooth and rough terrain. Apart from its capability to assault with a high volume of fire, it can withstand blasts from improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other landmines.
Other features include a 12-man crew of commander, driver, two gunners and eight soldiers, a 12.7 mm Anti-Aircraft Gun and a 7.62 mm Light Machine Gun.
However, a private-run defence company is giving the Nigerian military a run for their money.
The company became incorporated in 2008 as a subsidiary of O’la-Kleen Holdings Limited, under the direction of Ade Ogundeyin, the company’s chief executive officer. Since the operation began 15 years ago, it has served more than 300 clients with more than 500 products.
The manufacturing plant is based in Ode Remo, Ogun State and has partnered with diverse organisations worldwide to produce many military tools or equipment. It provides equipment for organisations like the United Nations, African Union, and Rwanda.
While it is evident that Nigeria’s security sector is performing below expectations, our findings show Nigeria is producing vehicles for all military terrains and exporting them to other countries.