By Mohammed Tijjani
The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the local production of arms and ammunition for the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Badaru spoke Ii Kaduna on Thursday when he toured the facilities of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).
He said that the commitment was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s assent to the 2023 DICON Act which is aimed at local manufacturing of military hardware, among other provisions.
Badaru added that with the level of DICON’s hard work, resilience and determination, in the nearest future, the nation would attain sufficiency in military hardware production.
He disclosed that the Imperium Ultramodern Production Facility, a private company which is in partnership with the DICON, would probably be completed and commissioned in six months time.
“We are encouraging private sectors to invest in military equipment such as bullets, protective gears and other platforms so that we will no longer be importing them and to open the door for job creation,” he said.
Badaru expressed satisfaction at the pace at which the construction and resuscitation of some of the DICON facilities were moving.
“About five factories are now in the process of being inaugurated. We have seen the one at Kachia which is only awaiting the machineries which are already on the ground to be installed.
“We have also seen DICON-SUR which is almost completed, we have also seen the Pro-force, DICON news site where MRAP will be produced and for future manufacturing of drones.
“With these new factories that are coming up, we will be able to have more local production of military equipment,”he said.
Speaking further, the minister said there were many other factories that were showing interest for partnership.
According to him, some were accepted and will soon begin construction for the production of bullets, guns and assembly of helicopters and drones.
He thanked Tinubu for his encouragement, funding the military, DICON and the signing of the DICON Act.
“President Tinubu is doing his best, we are pushing so hard like the new factories we have all seen.
”Of all the factories, only one is owned by the government while the others are in partnership with DICON.
“We are trying to encourage more private investments in arms and ammunition, and defence equipment manufacturing in the country,”he said.
Also speaking, the Director-General of DICON, Maj.-Gen. Aniedi Edet, said their partnerships with Imperium Ultramodern Production Facility, and other private companies were critical to the nation’s defence production needs.
He acknowledged the support of the Federal Government and the new DICON Act which would go along way in actualising the needed sufficiency in arms and ammunition of the nation’s defence needs and other platforms.
Edet reassured DICON of the Federal Government’s commitment to meeting up to its mandate to the defence needs of the nation.
In a remark, one of the private partners, the CEO of Imperium Ultramodern Production Facility, Mr Agbo Shedrack, explained that the partnership of his company and DICON has given a leeway for the private sector to embark on massive projects.
He assured the minister of quality output in terms of military hard wares at the end of the project for effective service delivery.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defence minister toured the DICON Primer Cap Factory in Kachia, LGA of the state.
He also toured the DICON Ordinance Factory in Kakuri, its substations and workshops, among others.
The minister also inaugurated the DICON board room at its headquarters in Ahmadu Bello Way, within Kaduna metropolis.

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