South Africa, Nigeria collaborates on space defense

Nigerian and South African security chiefs  met in Abuja on Tuesday to explore  new partnerships in the areas of counterterrorism, counter-insurgency and space defence technology.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin, and other service chiefs were represented at the meeting. The  South African delegation  was led by the Southern African country’s Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube.

The meeting also looked at border security, exchange of experiences on peacekeeping operations, cyber security and military health.

The Permanent Secretary of  the  Ministry of Defence, Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, in her welcome address at the 4th Nigeria-South Africa Defence Committee Meeting, said one of the gains of the meeting would be the military’s capacity  to produce some of the modern hardware in Nigeria.

Batagarawa said  the two countries would consider five areas of new partnerships. They are specialised military training, capacity building in space defence technology, medical training, research, innovation and development of defence equipment.

She said, “Following the bilateral agreement between Nigeria and South Africa, a Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation was signed in 2013. From the first to the third sessions of these defence meetings, a lot of viable collaborations have begun. There have been exchanges of visits between  the Defence Industries Corporation and many manufacturing industries in South Africa. When our collaborative efforts become operational, DICON will have the capacity to produce some of the modern military hardware in Nigeria.”

Batagarawa added, “During the third session in South Africa in 2017, the committee discussed the areas of cooperation; exchange of experiences in peacekeeping operations, cyber security, border safeguarding and security, army aviation and collaboration in military health.

“This year’s meeting is expected to leverage  the gains of the  previous session. The Nigerian delegation has arrayed five areas,  which are specialised military training, capacity building in space defence technology, medical training, research, innovation and development of defence equipment.”

The South African head of delegation said the two countries had a lot to gain from each other in the areas of military cooperation.