By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has expressed determination to make Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), as the epicenter of the proposed Military Industrial Complex, aimed at meeting the complete ordinance needs of the Armed Forces.
The Chairman, Committee on Establishment of Military Production, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Emmanuel Anebi, stated this when he visited DICON Ordinance Factories Kakuri, Kaduna with his team.
Anebi in a statement issued yesterday by the Public Relations Officer, DICON, Maj. Emmanuel Adeniyi, said the Committee was constituted by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Abayomi Olanisakin, to work out the modalities for a smooth take off of the Military Industrial Complex.
According to the Chairman, it was high time they moved beyond the level of mere rhetoric on issue of Military Industrial Complex to concrete action, adding that the project would no doubt enjoy the full support of the President.
“I did most of my courses in India, with my level of exposure there, I am quite optimistic if there is a political will, we can get it right just like India, Brazil, Pakistan and other nations which were once on the same page with Nigeria got it right, “he said.
Anebi said that before he embarked on facility tour to DICON, he had a different mindset, but having gone round the Ordinance Factories with his team, he was quite impressed with what he saw on ground.
According to him, there was no way his committee would sit in Abuja to write a report on Military Industrial Complex of that magnitude without embarking on facility tour to DICON factories.
He said: “Most of the machines in various production lines in the factories were still functioning contrary to the impression of a moribund factory held before the visit. We are impressed with the efforts made by the DG Maj Gen Bamidele Ogunkale and his team to reposition DICON”
“The envisioned Military Industrial Complex would be conglomerate of various companies producing one Military Product or the other, while DICON will be at the centre to streamline or regulate all their activities. All these ideas are aimed at making the Armed Forces self-sufficient in terms of local production of Military products.”
He noted that DICON alone could not meet the needs of all the Armed Forces in terms of military products, hence the need for collaboration with other industries bearing in mind the principle of comparative advantage.
On how to mitigate the challenge posed by epileptic power supply which was costing the corporation a fortune in terms of money spent on diesel to power her generating plant, the chairman suggested that the corporation should explore the possibility of generating electricity from any nearby river with simple technology that would not be too expensive.
“I was in Liberia and I saw how such simple technology was employed to generate power from a nearby lake in a community close to Robert International Airport.”
Earlier, the Director of production DICON Ordinance Factories, Grp Cpt. Albert Bot, reeled out the Corporation’s achievement in recent time which included production of military and civilian products.
Bot also stressed that raw materials was the major constraint slowing down the production line of Arms and Ammunition.