By Stanley Onyekwere
The South East Renewal Group (SERG) has commended the Nigerian Army, following the its decision to partner with local car manufacturer, Innoson Motors in the manufacturing of military vehicles and other hardwares.
The Group likened the latest partnership with Innoson as balm on a sore spot given the contrived negativity that has been hyped about the mindset the Army has for the South-East and Igbo businesses.
It will be recalled the Army had also partnered with Shoe makers in Aba to acquire boots for it’s men and officers.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, President General of SERG, Charles Mbani commended the NIgerian Army, its leadership under Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and President Muhammadu Buhari for growing the partnership with Innoson Motors and other south east business owners.
He said through this action, the COAS has again shown that he has the best interest of the country at heart.
Mbani noted that the Army has by this partnership with Innoson further demonstrated that Nigeria can significantly reduce its dependence on foreign entities for the supply of gears for securing the nation.
“The Army has given a lifeline to the hundreds of industries located in our part of the country.
“We must note at this point that the Army also bought its boots and shoes from Aba, so its commitment to seeing industries in our land grow is not mere eye-service but a well calculated attempt to address youth unemployment and their resulting restiveness.
“It is our firm belief that continuing along this path will leave terrorist groups without idle youths to recruit for making trouble and harassing law-abiding Nigerians.
“The patronage of Innoson Motors Manufacturing Company may appear insignificant, or may be promoted by saboteurs as something to be taken for granted.
“But we dare say the gains from this singular act are unquantifiable even as they tally with the government’s avowal to diversify the economy, which involves strengthening the manufacturing sector and saving crucial foreign exchange for the country.
“From our informal interaction with relevant stakeholders, we can already confirm that the deal between the Nigerian Army and Innoson is already deepening local manufacturing.
“When we make this point it is not about the number of cars that roll off Innosson’s production line but the multiplier effects that come from such enterprise.
“The Army’s order is also building the economy as a lot of money has been saved since the vehicles delivered to it were not ordered from abroad.
“The resources committed to their purchase have been left circulating within our economy. This will rub off on the products from the south-east,” he stressed.
He therefore reminded south eaterners that contrary to the propaganda of those who had held them hostage under different guises, the Nigerian Army truly stepped in to liberate towns and cities from miscreants that were implementing destructive agenda under the guise of liberating the Igbo nation from an imaginary occupation.
He urged them to join hands with the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff and all military personnel to ensure that security of lives and properties, which has remained a priority of the Buhari administration is achieved.