SPO Group CEO, Condoles with NSA, Announces Launch of Drone Plant

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

After paying a condolence visit to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, over the demise of his brother, the Group Chief Operating Officer of SP Offshore Group, Obafemi Adekunle, has announced the company’s plan for a military grade drone manufacturing plant launch, with cutting-edge technologies, a first of its kind in Nigeria.

The launch, which is scheduled for the third quarter of this year, was announced in a statement signed by the Group Company Secretary, Ms Mina Park-Okoloko, last weekend.

According to the statement, “SPO Group, incorporated and with subsidiaries in three continents, is an investment company powered by hedge/private equity funds, and focused on investing in or acquiring privately owned companies in the field of defence, IT, financial services, technology, real estate, oil and gas, FMCG, port operations and other sectors, with significant business presence or operations in sub-Saharan Africa. The company also specialises in structured lending.

 “Our deep local knowledge and broad relationship network afford us an easy access to capital, proprietary deal flow and key sector insight. SPO primary objective is to achieve attractive returns while maintaining a strong risk management strategy.

“The defence industry in Africa is a strategic and economic asset, and from a socio-economic point of view, the industry contributes significantly to sustaining the military capabilities of African states. It is growing rapidly with Algeria, Nigeria, and South Africa already making intra-regional military equipment sales.

“Africa needs a capable defence industry for strategic reasons because of the instability in the continent and the need to be able to protect against the effect of the instability from the Middle East. It is to that effect that SPO Dynamics Systems was created. With a projected production capacity of 1,000 drones monthly, making it the largest drone plant in Africa, the company aims to transform industries like defence, energy, logistics, agriculture , law enforcement agencies like Customs, Immigration, Police among others.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the company added: “The West doesn’t make drones based on Africa’s needs.  China, Israel, the United States and others develop  and test their drones first for their security issues and decide on the features to commercialise because they do not like to commercialise all their researches and innovations . We now purchase or order these drones to adapt them to our terrain.

 “Sometimes, they wait 10-20 years to make some technologies available in the market, which put us at disadvantage mostly because imagine being 10-20 years behind when we could have developed our own technology during that time. Also they are not bound to sell those technologies to us. It’s at their discretion and subjected to many factors, sometimes out of our control, which puts us in a vulnerable state when we are fighting a war and our people are dying. We have seen it happen during President Goodluck administration.”

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