Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nigeria to export home-made military wares

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned a ballistics vest factory complex for the production of sale of military ancillary products, including personal protection armour such as tactical ballistic vests (bullet proof vest) and night vision goggle equipment.

On the occasion, he said that henceforth, the country would not import military goods that can be produced by the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).

The Federal Government is also sending to the National Assembly a bill to amend the DICON Act to give it a global outlook and allow it to export its products abroad.

The President, who wore the Army highest rank of Field Marshal, said the federal government would also give preferential treatment to any local or foreign firm ready to partner and site defence industries anywhere in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Jonathan has again assured Nigerians that his government would deploy all the resources at its disposal to ensure that the security challenges be-devilling the country end.

Speaking at the 2012 Army Day Celebration, at Jaji, Kaduna State yesterday, Jonathan who spoke on the theme, “Partnering the Civil Society Towards Improved Security”, said: “only recently, I approved a National Counter Terrorism Strategy to give clear direction to our concerted efforts at frontally confronting and defeating the menace of terrorism in our country.  A critical component of the Strategy is upscaled cooperation not only among our security agencies, but also greater cooperation with the international community.  I am therefore pleased to join other compatriots to salute the Nigerian Army, which, over the course of our history, has distinguished itself as a courageous and dedicated force, totally committed to the defence of our unity and the preservation of our territorial integrity”. unrelenting quest for self sufficient in the production of military equipment to meet our national defence and security needs.”

The ballistics vest factory, situated in Kakuri, Kaduna State, is a result of a joint venture agreement between DICON and an Israeli firm - Marlon Nigeria Limited. It is operating under the Public Private Partnership (PPP). The joint venture company - DICON-MARON - is also to diversify into the tactical textile field, offering designing and developing services for tactical textile solutions.

DICON, on its own, is producing rifles, pistols, sub-machine guns and General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG). It has also the prototypes of the RPG (Rocket Propelled Gun Grenade) Launcher and the 81mm mortar lined up for production.

DICON was established in 1964 for the production of arms and ammunition for Nigerian military and the nation’s security agencies. The Act of Parliament establishing it also mandated it to use its excess capacity to support the development of local industries. But after several years of existence, it has not met the expectations of the founders.

In fact, the commissioning is the first time since DICON was established in 1964 that it is establishing a new line of production.

Jonathan stated that new factory, along with new innovations in the Navy and Air Force shows that the military has keyed into the transformation of Nigeria.

“With the commissioning, you must convince me beyond all reasonable doubt that DICON cannot produce any product before such product is imported. This commissioning marks the beginning of a vibrant defence industry,” he said.

He asked businessmen and other investors not to limit the siting of their industries only in Kaduna, stating: “You are free to site your industries anywhere in Nigeria. You just have to let us know you are siting it as it has to do with the security sector. We will encourage people to produce our needs locally.”

The president restated his Administration’s commitment “to creating the requisite enabling environment for local manufacturing industries to grow, become major employers of labour and progressively become global competitive.”

1 comment:

  1. i love this initiative. it makes me proud of my country.