The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, has hailed the management of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) for its collaboration with foreign and indigenous Defence Related Industries (DRI).
He said such efforts were aimed at repositioning the corporation for better service delivery.
The CDS spoke at the inauguration of some notable projects completed in the last one year both at the Headquarters and Ordnance Factory.
He said he was quite optimistic that by the time most of those efforts were concluded, every well-meaning Nigerian would no doubt be proud of the corporation.
The CDS, who was the Guest of Honour at the inauguration of the 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 mind of the Corporations’ 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 goal 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 due to inadequate funding by successive government, 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 under the leadership of the CDS Gen Olonisakin.
The DG stated: “To key into the new strategic directives and the need for relevance both at the domestic and international levels, DICON under my leadership did objective self-assessment, which led to the evolution of a new vision, mission statement and logo to drive the corporation for optimal performance”.
He further disclosed that foundational problems as staff welfare had been confronted headlong with the last one year of his assumption of office, thus eliminating problems that could impact on the smooth takeoff of production at the ordnance factory.
The D-G reeled out about 13 newly completed projects slated for commissioning which included:
DICON filling station, researched and produced mobile solar power generator, renovated DICON staff quarters, remodeled DICON HQ reception; others are new transformers, newly constructed foyer, newly rehabilitated road from ordnance factory to R&D centre among others.
The commissioning ceremony took place on 20 January 20. It was graced by the Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Olonisakin as the Guest of Honour. Others in attendance were the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Adeniyi Oyebade, the Commandant,Nigerian Defence Academy, Maj-Gen Tasiu Ibrahim and other dignitaries.
Culled from The Nation Online Newspaper