•As VC laud DG for identifying with his roots
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) is seeking collaboration with the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State and other tertiary institutions in improving the capacity of the corporation to develop its military industrial complex, especially in the area of ordinance factories.
A statement made available yesterday by the Public Relations Officer, Major Emmanuel Adeniyi, of the corporation stated that the Director General of the Corporation, Major General Bamidele Ogunkale visited the university to seek for solution to some of the identified challenges that the corporation is faced with in order to reposition DICON for better service delivery to the nation.
Ogunkale said that the principle of local content as enunciated by the Federal Government as well as introspective look for solution to our industrial developmental problems, have made it imperative for him to enter into partnership with some industrialists and manufacturers of military products, as well as with academia in some universities of science and technology.
He noted that his scale of preference made him to arrive at the choice of Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi as his first port of call because he knew they have the requisite skill, manpower and wealth of experience premised on his past knowledge as an ex-student of the university.
He added that when he was the Commandant at the Nigerian Army School of Mechanical Engineering (NASME) in the same Makurdi, he had always turned to them for assistance on some technical issues whenever he was in need of help and they had always obliged him.
According to him, the success story of his exploits and developmental strides at NASME cannot be completed without mentioning the assistance obtained from UNIAGRIC.
Ogunkale also disclosed that some of the production lines installed since 1964 though old but still functional require modernization in order to meet up with modern demands of military products.
He said: “We came to Federal University of Agriculture’s Engineering Department because we have plans to reactivate quite a number of our factories and your research and development department is our main area of focus. You have the wealth of experience that would helpful to us.
“Our founding fathers have a lot of good intention for establishing DICON, when you visit our ordnance factories, you will confirm what I am saying. You can see rail lines constructed down to our factories which were used for moving finished products to end users, especially, during the Nigerian civil war of 1967 – 70.”
Responding, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof EI Kucha, commended Ogunkale for coming to his root as an ex – student of the University.
Kucha said he was elated that when the DICON boss and his technical team visited his university with the sole aim of seeking solutions to some of the problems identified in the DICON’s ordnance factories production lines from the University’s engineering Department.
According to the VC, the university would give Ogunkale the needed support to succeed in his quest to reposition the corporation to an enviable position among comity of nations, promising that he would put up a technical team to visit DICON’s ordnance factories for an on the spot assessment.
Kucha who said he was impressed by the success stories emanating from DICON within the short period of Ogunkale’s appointment, further stressed that UNAGRIC will explore everything within the ability to ensure that he succeeds in the task before him.
Also speaking, the Dean College of Engineering, Prof, LT Tuleun, said he could not but agree with Ogunkale that our founding fathers had vision for Corporation, adding that he was in DICON sometimes ago, to help solve certain technical problem in one of the factories production lines.
He further noted with high optimism that he was delighted about the fact that the Director General being an engineer of high repute has been saddled with the task of steering DICON’s ship in the right direction.
In addition, Ogunkale and his team visited NASME and the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies, Markudi, where he once served as the Registrar of the Institution.