The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Gabriel Olonisakin cutting the tape of one of the commissioned projects
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin has lauded the efforts of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) management team in the last one year for taking giant stride in its collaborative efforts with both foreign and indigenous Defence Related Industries (DRIs) aimed at repositioning the Corporation for better service delivery.
The CDS made the remark during the commissioning of some notable projects completed within the last one year both at the Headquarters and Ordnance Factory.
He said he was quite optimistic that by the time most of those collaborative efforts were concluded, every well meaning Nigerian would no doubt be proud of the Corporation. He stated that he had always emphasized that DICON needed to brace up for the challenges of making the nation proud despite seemingly difficult situations brought about by current economic realities.
The CDS who was the Guest of Honour during the commissioning ceremony of DICON projects said: “Concerning the projects commissioned today, I am happy that DICON management is aware of the need to revamp and solidify the foundation bases of the production process. I can see that reasonable efforts have been put in place to ensure that production lines and technical staff are ready to commence production as soon as raw materials are available.”
Gen Olonisakin further stated that he was quite delighted that the welfare of DICON’s personnel has been given priority attention gleaning from recently completed projects at both junior and senior staff quarters. He added that there was the need to win the hearts and minds of the Corporation’s workforce in order to get the desired maximum inputs from them. He therefore charged the DG DICON, Maj Gen Bamidele Ogunkale to keep the flag of excellent track record noticed within the last one year in office unfurled, urging him not to rest on his oars because there was still much to be done.
On the political will to reposition DICON to a greater height by the Commander-In-Chief (C-In-C) of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, the CDS noted that the C-in-C had rolled out his vision concerning the Corporation when he directed that the Ministry of Defence should urgently articulate a proposal for the establishment of Military Industrial Complex (MIC) to produce weapons and other equipment for the country’s Armed Forces to reduce reliance on reluctant foreign suppliers.
The CDS in line with the strategic directive of the C-in-C restated his commitment to support DICON by continuing to do the needful in order to ensure that the Corporation meets its goals and objectives. He added that ministries, departments and agencies are fully in support of Mr. President’s position as it affects DICON. Earlier, the DG DICON Maj Gen Ogunkale noted in retrospect that the Corporation was once lauded for living up to the mandate of the founding fathers, especially during the Nigerian civil war but witnessed a sharp decline over the years. He added that the poor output has been attributed to inadequate funding by successive governments, low patronage, lack of political will amongst others, adding that almost all the machines and equipment, including installation supports for the production lines had gone moribund.
According to the DG, the turnaround story of DICON could be traced to the political will of Mr. President, who directed the Ministry of Defence to urgently articulate a proposal for the establishment of Military Industrial Complex (MIC), stressing that there had been positive response to the C-in-C’s directives by the Ministry of Defence and Defence Headquarters. READ MORE FROM THE MAGAZINE PAGE 14 ….CLICK HER TO READ MAGAZINE