NIGERIA is stepping up plans to end the purchase of military memorabilia from abroad with the federal government approving local manufacturing firm Erojim Investments as a contractor to supply the country’s security forces with garments and footwear.
Recent security challenges have shown how ill-equipped the Nigerian military is, as it has to import virtually all of its needs from abroad, which can lead to years delays, leaving troops unequipped in the face of threats from the likes of Boko Haram. To address crisis, the federal government is seeking to manufacture more equipment locally, including hardware and other memorabilia.
Under the terms of the latest deal, Erojim Investments, in partnership with Poly Technologies a Chinese company, will establish a shoe and garment factory in Abia State and the Janguza Tannery Factory in Kano. Erojim Investments is part of the Erojim Group of Companies and is wholly owned by Nigerians.
Erojim Group describes itself as a highly diversified Nigerian-owned conglomerate that is dominantly present in major key sectors of the Nigerian economy. A company spokesman said: “We own and operate highly successful national and internationally affiliated companies dealing with military hardware, oil and gas, hospitality, civil and mechanical engineering.”
Owned by Nigerian Jimmy Ntuen, Erojim has Ahmed Gulak, a former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan as its legal adviser. This latest project will cost N5.08bn and has been approved by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission which presented the company with Full Business Case compliance certificate in May.
“President Buhari is happy that this is happening during his tenure because apart from making garments and footwear available for our military and paramilitary services, it will also create jobs. It will curtail capital flight and prevent the country from wasting foreign exchange on these items,” the company spokesman added.