The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, has called for the appointment of a Chief of Space Staff to bolster the nation’s defence capabilities.
Kalu made this recommendation during the closing ceremony of a two-day post-inauguration retreat organised by the National Defence College in Abuja for members of the House Committee on Defence.
He stated the need to evolve beyond traditional security mechanisms and address the emerging threats in space, asserting that establishing a Space Service Chief would be crucial in safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial integrity, considering the evolving nature of modern warfare.
“In some countries, you have Space Service Chiefs; what are we doing about that? There is a need for one to be created. We are beyond what is obvious.
“Some of the warfare is now taking place in space. And I can assure you, if we ignore that, we will not be doing justice to the mandate of protecting the territorial borders of this country,” stated Kalu.
Kalu also pledged support for the Defence Industry Corporation (DICON) Bill and the Armed Forces Trust Fund Bill currently before the National Assembly for re-gazetting. These bills, although passed by the 9th Assembly, did not receive the assent of former President Muhammad Buhari.
However, Kalu expressed confidence that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would prioritize these bills, emphasizing their significance in stimulating local content and manufacturing essential tools and equipment for the Armed Forces.
“With the Bills, there will be a stimulation of local content in manufacturing the tools and the equipment needed to keep our nation safe.
“It is a call on Mr. President to do it and do it as urgently as possible. So that some of the funding contracts of the military at the moment will be converted into military industrial complexes,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Hon. Babajimi Benson, commended the leadership of the 10th House of Representatives and pledged the committee’s commitment to collaborate with the Defence sector in achieving the legislative agenda of the Green Chamber and addressing insecurity in Nigeria.