ABUJA – Manufacturers of armoured personnel carriers (APCs) have been urged to take interest in producing vehicles that meet the operational requirements of African security forces.
Maj.-Gen. Richard Opoku-Adusei, the Ghanaian Chief of Army Staff, made the called on Monday in Abuja at the Armoured Vehicles West Africa Conference.
“We can only hope that as more African countries participate in peace support operations (PSOs) on the continent and around the world, this would increase the demand for armoured vehicles by pooling resources from member countries.
“Manufacturers will take a keener interest in producing vehicles that meet Africa’s unique requirements.
“This will hopefully lead to research which will result in the production of vehicles that are well adapted to Africa’s terrain and climatic conditions, and which require relatively low logistic and are cheaper and easier to maintain.’’
Opoku-Adusei said the procurement of armoured vehicles involved cumbersome processes to identify the type of vehicles that meet the requirements of theatres of operation.
He also urged the manufacturers to ensure cost effectiveness of the vehicles in view of their use on peace support operations.
“This is made more so by the fact that for the most effective results, armoured vehicles should be employed at the lowest level in troop and squadron lots.
“In other words, effective employment of armoured vehicles means that they should be employed in large numbers,’’ he said.
On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, urged the organisers of the conference to unveil its armoured personnel carriers as part of the conference.
He said that the Nigerian Army would take a decision on the equipment when it was unvailed.
“When it is unveiled the army will look at it before taking decisions. We will look at one and advice the authorities accordingly,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Michael Champion, General Manager, North and West Africa International Quality and Productivity Centre, Abuja, organisers of the conference, said armoured vehicles were important for the security of any nation.
He said that APCs assist in security maintenance during elections, policing and other internal security issues.
Champion said the conference would focus on security challenges in the African region, and how armoured vehicle technologies could be applied to facilitate faster troops and arms mobility. (NAN)