‘Nigeria needs National Reserve Force’

FORMER Corps Commander of the Nigerian Army Education Corps, Rtd. Maj.-Gen. John Gbor, on Thursday urged the Federal Government to expedite action in establishing a robust National Reserve Force.

Gbor made the appeal at the closing of a two-day interactive session of the Presidential Defence Policy Review Committee with security agencies in Lagos State.

In a paper entitled “Robust Reserve Force for the Armed Forces as an Option for National Defence’’, Gbor said that Nigeria urgently needed an expanded and robust force.

“The argument here is that with the nation’s population on the upward trajectory, Nigeria definitely needs and expanded and robust force.

“Nigeria needs a robust force not only to cope with the challenges of its ever expanding population, but also to meet the challenges being posed by external threats.

“The present size of the Nigerian Armed Forces is overstretched to cope with the national defence requirement.

“It is, therefore, imperative that a robust reserve force be put in place to enable the nation to cope with her internal and external threats,’’ he said.

The former education corps commander said the country had since independence lacked the national will to establish a reserve force.

Gbor said that Nigeria’s desire to have a National Reserve Force was contained in the Nigeria Army Act of 1960 and the Armed Forces Decree 105.

He added that provision was also made for such reserve force by the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service as well as the Armed Forces Act of 2003.

Retired AVM Mohammed Umaru, Chairman of the Lagos Presidential Committee on National Defence Policy Review, expressed optimism that the inputs and contributions from the interactive session would enrich the planned review.

Umaru said the committee was inaugurated by President Jonathan on Nov. 20, 2014, to assist the government to assess the state of its defence organisation’s mandate, capabilities and design. (NAN)

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