Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution Project Topics

Equipment Maintenance by Nigerian Army Contingency in Peace Support Operation (PSO): the Way Forward

Equipment Maintenance by Nigerian Army Contigency in Peace Support Operation (PSO) the Way Forward

Equipment Maintenance by Nigerian Army Contingency in Peace Support Operation (PSO): the Way Forward


Research Objectives

The main of the study is to investigate the equipment maintenance by Nigerian Army Contigency in Peace Support Operation (PSO) while providing a way forward. The specific objectives are:

  1. To assess Nigerian Military operations in Peace Support Operation
  2. To investigate the extent to which the Nigerian military is equipped for Peace Support Operation
  3. To examine the degree to which the Nigerian Army maintains its equipment in Peace Support Operation



This section covers the Nigerian army operations in peacekeeping operstions and the issues encountered in such operations. It also provides insight to the attitude of the Nigerian Contigent in peacekeeping operations

Nigerian Army In The United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

Peacekeeping operations mounted by the UN are missions specifically designed to restore and or preserve peace in certain areas of conflict. They are usually initiated by the UN Security Council, the body empowered by the UN Charter (UN Charter, 1945). The first UN peacekeeping mission was mounted in the year 1948 when the UN set in military observers to supervise the truce in the Arab-Israeli conflict (Obasi, 2004). From the inception of the UN in 1945 to year 2015, about 70 peacekeeping missions were imitated by the UNSC. Out of this number, 16 of these missions were still ongoing, the rest were successfully concluded (UN Peacekeeping Operations Archive, 2015).

The involvement of Nigerian army in the UNPKO dates back to 1960 when the Nigerian army was invited to participate in the UN Peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the years, the Nigerian army had become a major actor in the global politics of peacekeeping operations not only under the auspices of the UN but also under the umbrella of Organization of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and at some point under bilateral arrangement (Nigeria-Chad). From 1960 to 2016, Nigerian army had participated in not less than 48 peacekeeping operations around the world (Abba, 2017). Nigerian army was involved in peacekeeping operations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, America and Asia-Pacific. Nigeria becomes a popular country around the world principally not because of her military and economic prowess but rather because of her military contributions in the global peacekeeping missions around the world (Abba, 2017). The table below confirmed the enormous contributions of the Nigerian army in the promotion of international peace and security




Appraisal of Nigerian Army Procurement Policy

The Nigerian Army procurement policy came into being in 1999. Before its enactment, the Nigerian Army’s procurement was governed by the ‘Q Administrative Instructions’, which sets guidelines for all equipment procurement in the Nigerian Army. The Nigerian Army (N.A.) procurement policy is currently in line with the strategic directives given by the Presidency for the procurement process of all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to confirm to the 2007 Public Procurement Act (PPA). The PPA established the National Council on Public Procurement and Bureau of Public Procurement as the regulatory authorities responsible for the monitoring, regulating and setting standards and legal framework for public procurements in MDAs. This is intending to ensure that standards requirements are not with individual interest. Despite all these measures, military equipment was procured without considerations to the PPA, resulting in various kinds of equipment from different manufacturers that do not meet the required standards. According to the report of Standard Inspection Mechanical Transport Tools and Equipment (SIMTTE) of Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NAEME) 2016, there were 24 different variants of AFV’s, 11 different types of artillery pieces, 46 types and models of ‘B’ vehicles and various types of radio sets in the N.A. inventory. All these uncoordinated procurements resulted from the waste of large sums of money on equipment that becomes easily unserviceable. Also, the lack of adequate spares and trained technicians coupled with limited resources has made the maintenance of this equipment difficult. Thus, most of them end up in the N.A. junkyard. In Canada, for example, the acquisition of military equipment is conducted through a long process of research, test and evaluation. The Public Services and Procurement Canada is responsible for the standardisation of equipment procurement on behalf of the Canadian government. It is committed to ensuring federal procurement is carried out in a fair, open and transparent manner. This commitment is carried out by reviewing suppliers’ complaints about contract awards or administration, making recommendations, and ensuring strict adherence to government requirement. The Nigerian Army can borrow a leaf to set up an independent body made up of experts that would see to the strict adherence of the PPA and ensure standardisation.



Public Private Partnership Policy (Pppp) Should Be Encourage In The Business Of Peacekeeping Operations

Peacekeeping operation since inception is a complex and very expensive project. The UN relies on the TCCs to supply the troop requirement for any peacekeeping operation since the UN has no standing army at its disposal. However, most of the TCCs are largely dominants in third world countries with poor state of economy (Enahoro, 1997). The procurement of COEs and other logistics for peacekeeping operations to be successful prove substantially very expensive which the economy of these countries cannot stand. Therefore, many countries in the circle of TCCs involve Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the purchase of these equipments in order for them to meet the UN standard requirements.

Nigeria with her multiple economic challenges in recent time need to involve partners in the private sector to ameliorate her doubting economic difficulties. The respondent further argued that Nigerian leaders cannot fall their arms and allow the country to be ridicule in the eyes of the world because of poor economic situation. They suggest Nigeria to invite private individuals to invest in the procurement of these COEs for the Nigerian troops to go to the field with functional and serviceable equipment which will help the country to gain good return from the UN reimbursement policy. The involvement of private enterprises would be required to mitigate the challenge of inadequate funds to purchase COEs. Defence Headquarters (DHQ) could simply utilize the PPP initiative to provide the needed logistics that will support the military and enhance the effectiveness and combat readiness of the military which may eventually attract favorable reimbursement accruable to the country. This will make Nigeria to deploy her troops with full scale of their COE and also enhance their performance, morale and military proficiency. The idea of involving the private sector in peacekeeping operations is a crucial matter in mitigating the financial constraints face by Nigeria in procuring expensive equipment that will translate into physical success in the field.

It could be a fundamental requirement to sufficiently sustain the troops in the mission area. In the recent past, it has been observed by many of our respondents how Nigeria failed woefully in the area of logistics and COEs to the embarrassment of the country and her military. This situation arouse as a result of substandard facilities, unserviceable equipments and poor kitting. All these reflect the poor economic state of the country, therefore, inviting the private groups declared by one of the respondents is not a bad idea but it will equip the military and boosts their capability and efficiency. Contemporary realities reveal that many countries use the idea of PPP in promoting their economic activities. Therefore, Nigeria cannot be in isolation especially when it comes to this important international investment that will bring more prestige and build foreign reserve to the country.




This study provides an insight into equipment maintenance by the Nigerian Army Contigents in peace support operations while providing the way forward, identifying some of the challenges that were specific to those missions relating to the deployment, handling, and storage of the missions’ lethal COE. It also provides a brief examination of the procedures for the control and handling of weapons and ammunition in the NA.

These procedures are applicable in a peace operation field except as otherwise directed in the MoU or SOFA. The regulations draw strength from national and international goals of limiting the risks of global proliferation of SALWs as a means of improving global security. It is also evident that there is the absence of a clear weapons and ammunition management policy which makes it difficult to coordinate weapons and ammunition management in peace operations.



There are many additional relevant observations concerning how COE was managed in this African-led operation, which led to some recommendations about how to improve practices. These include the following:

  1. ECOWAS depended on TCCs with significantly different levels of professionalism and numbers and types of weapons, which created asymmetries between contingents and affected morale. For, even with the best equipment, if it is not of sufficient quantity, mission effectiveness will be jeopardized, as troops will be reluctant to engage attacking forces.
  2. ECOWAS needs to have lists of equipment and schedules of reimbursement to avoid situations in which TCCs pledge what they do not have. Furthermore, the ECOWAS schedule of reimbursement should be harmonized with that of the UN.
  3. Relatedly, there is a need for templates that include compatible terms, as the interoperability of COE is key.
  4. The multitude of languages within a mission can generate problems as contingents may not always understand commanders and important guidance on COE may get lost in translation. Accountability and information on COE-related matters is needed at all levels.
  5. A formal arms register could be used to catalogue all of the arms holdings of a contingent in PSO. This is to ensure that the movement of arms within the contingent area of responsibility can be monitored, as each contingent will have to sign for the use of such weapon, and state in the register the specific assignment for which they are to be employed. The arms register could be replicated and given to the COE team for their record and inspection, which could be done on monthly or quarterly basis.
  6. The responsibility for the mandatory daily/routine monitoring of arms stockpiles should be solely the responsibility of a contingent logistic team. However, it is important that the report of such monitoring should be forwarded to the COE team for record keeping purposes and follow up verification. It is suggested here the need for a follow-up verification inspection by the team to confirm veracity.
  7. Loss/damage to weapons cannot be ruled out in peace support operations. But it is important that when it occurs, national pride should not be an overriding factor. It is important to note that such weapons can end up in the hands of non-state actors. Therefore it is necessary that loss/damage of weapons should be reported and thoroughly investigated.
  8. Faithful implementation of punitive and remedial actions is key in maintaining the integrity of a contingent in PSO. Where loss/damage occurs and investigations are thoroughly conducted, troops found culpable should be appropriately punished and mission headquarters informed. Such action could deter further incidents.
  9. Cases of loss/damage to arms have occurred on a number of occasions from UN and regional peace operations; some of these cases were treated at the contingent level without recourse to mission headquarters. This practice is further encouraged by the lack of weapons and ammunition management policy at either the UN or regional level. The formulation of such an important policy will in no small measure curtail a lot of cases, especially of loss of arms by contingents.


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