• Harps on reverse engineering
By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) has finalised plans to embark on the production of modern military products and weaponry needed to tackle terrorism and other emerging security challenges in the country.
The Director General, DICON, Maj-Gen. Bamidele Ogunkale, in a statement signed yesterday by the Public Relations Officer (ACPRO), Maj. Emmanuel Adeniyi, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Commandant Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Muhammadu, in Abuja.
Ogunkale said he was poised to take the Corporation to a greater heights in area of production of modern military products, adding that the excess capacity in the factories would always be channeled towards production of civilian products as it was currently being embarked upon.
He assured listeners that DICON under his leadership would continue to lay more emphasis on reverse engineering in light of the current daunting challenges facing the nation as a result of drop in oil price at the international market.
He said: “DICON has been noted for excellent performance in reverse engineering, but there would always be room for geometric improvement in this area, and the Corporation will redouble her effort to perform better.
“The wood factory was built primarily to take care of the wooden parts of some rifles as well as ammunition boxes; it is the excess capacity in this particular factory that is channeled toward building furniture, which is classified under civilian products.
“The corporation is currently building some classroom chairs for some Local Governments in Kaduna state and in terms of quality, DICON has no rival within the states because we have machines that give special treatment to the wood before being used.”
The Director-General also disclosed that the excess capacity in some of the factories where military products were produced was also channelled towards fabricating new tools or pipe from NNPC especially Kaduna Refinery, and they also produce wind vane, hand pump, ceremonial sword, maze among others.
According to him, DICON embarked on utilising excess capacity to produce civilian products just to ensure that the production lines were not lying fallow, stressing that there was need to keep the machines working constantly.
“We also train Armourers not only for the Armed Forces but also other security agencies. Presently we have some Personnel from Customs and Federal Road Safety undergoing Armourers course in DICON Training School, ”he added.
Responding, Muhammadu said the NSCDC, which started as a voluntary organisation in 1967 to cater for civil war victims and also to educate the populace on some basic precautionary measures, metamorphosed into her current status of full paramilitary in 2003.
He noted that the collaboration between the Army and Civil Defence had always been there, stressing that the relationship between the two was not just that of brother to brother but that of father and son relationship. “The Army had been a father to the Civil Defence Corps,” he remarked.
According to him, the Corps had always looked up to the army for training of her personnel, adding that the Army was currently training about 1,500 personnel.
The Civil Defence boss said it was better for the nation to lay more emphasis on local production, and that they would be willing to patronise DICON. “It is A4 vest we use, if you can give us A4 vest in large quantity, we will be pleased. We also intend to send 100 of our personnel for Armourer course in DICON,” he said.
The Commandant-General also noted that besides protection of critical infrastructures within the nation, the Corps had brought lots of sanity into private companies in area of supervision and registration, adding that the challenge the Corps always posed before private company owners, was that they would have to be above board to be on board.