Defence Minister, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) has commissioned some laudable projects executed by
Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Such as the special equipment factory used for production of ballistic helmet, bullet proof vests, uniforms and other defence related equipment.
Magashi pledged to engage the Pioneer Defence Corporation located in Kaduna for more strategic partnarship to achieve her goals for which it was established 56 years ago by the First Republic Administration shortly before Nigeria became a Republic.
He made it known during his maiden visit to the corporation in kaduna, saying, DICON was established to serve as a hardware producing facility of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Also inuagurated was the fully refurbished weapons and ammunitions production lines at a ceremony to mark the Corporation’s 56 year Anniversary.
The minister acknowledged the remarkable achievements recorded by DICON to include among othes ; reactivating the moribund explosives Factory in Jebba , Niger State.
“Knowing that DICON cannot do it alone, the Ministry of Defence will continue to support such strategic partnarships,” Magashi added.
He explained that DICON occupied a pride of place in Nigeria’s evolution as a premier parastatal of the defence ministry solely mandated to produce arms, ammunition, ordnance material and other war machines for the military and other security agencies.
“I want to pay glowing tribute to the founding fathers of this nation for their foresight in establishing this vital institution which played a critical role in the resolution of the three year long Nigeria civil war,” he said.
The minister hailed the new management of DICON for reinvigorating the corporation, which he said was in limbo before now.
Magashi recalled that between 2009 and 2015, the defence ministry engaged a Chinese technical partner for the establishment of a new ammunition line for the production of 7.62× 39 mm special ammunition, which according to him had been completed and production sustained.
“It is also within this period that some pilot projects such as the Park Howitzer gun, 60mm and 80 mm motar tubes and the Nigerian variant of the AK-47 rifle codenamed OBJ-006 were embarked upon.
“These were however , stopped at the prototype stage due to budgetary constraints, ” the retired General declared.
Magashi said since his appointment as minister, DICON had been making concerted efforts in the execution of the Presidential Executive Order 5 which entailed utilization of local content for defence equipment production.
“To this end, DICON has been able to produce Nigeria’s first indigenous mine resistant ambush protected vehicles, mine sweepers as well as other armoured and soft skin vehicles,” Magashi said.
Earlier, Director General of DICON, Maj.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his steadfast strategic guidance and funding support for DICON.
He said Presidential supports the Corporation had been receiving stimulated her quest to build a vast military industrial complex in Nigeria.
Ezugwu identified some of the presidential initiative for DICON to include approval for public private partnership model for DICON Sure Corporate Wears Nigeria Ltd.
Others , according to him , included prompt release of funds for completion of DICON primer Cap Factory, Administrative block at Kachia, and inuaguration of Nigeria’s first indegenious MRAP on Dec. 3, 2019.
He added that the president’s political will was also demostrated in the issuance of Executive Order 5 on local content, of which DICON he said was a major beneficiary.
Ezugwu assured the minister of the Corporation’s readiness of stepping up vigorously towards enhancing her military equipment production capabilities.
“Be assured that this your visit today to celebrate DICON journey to greatness will spur us to fire our weapon of innovation, local content application, research and development and science and technology from all cylinders.
“As we move closer to our 6th decade of existence in the next four years we pledge not to let you down , ” he added.