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THE PAINSTAKING EFFORTS OF DG DICON YIELDING FRUIT-AS THE CORPORATION GETS SET FOR FULL BLAST/SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF 7.62 X 39MM
- For a visionary leader, concentration is one of the cardinal laws of success. When the current Director General of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Maj Gen Bamidele Ogunkale was saddled with the onerous task of stirring the ship of the Premier Industry towards the right direction with the sole aim of reposition it for better service delivery, he left no one in doubt that though the task might be difficult but it is quite attainable.
- On assumption of office, he conceptualized many ideas, besides changing the Mission, Vision and the Logo of DICON to reflect the current realities at the domestic level as well as making such ideas to be in tandem with best international practices. His body language and position was well decoded by his astute management staff who know their onions in their various professional callings. Thus, they have been very supportive, helping the DG to drive his vision.
- As Gen Ogunkale perused some files in office, through painstaking effort, he discovered that there was a contractual agreement between DICON and Poly Technologies Incorporated (PTI) of China and their Nigerian Counterpart, Defence Integrated Resources Limited (DIRL) to establish a new line for the Production of 7.62 x 39 mm special ammunition and also to establish a primer Cap factory to ensure continuous supply of Primer Caps (warheads), and as he got to know the viable project was almost being left as limbo, he swung into action to revive the project. It is on record that the DG visited China with the Chief Executive Officer, Defence Integrated Resources Limited at least twice, all within his first one year in office. Ever since then, he has been pursuing the project with vigour.
- According to the DG, though the Corporation has been engaged in repairs of General Purpose Machine Gun otherwise known as GPMG in aid of the North East operation, but as far as he is concerned that is like an average or even below average performance in a Defence Industry that should be meeting all the arms and ammunition requirement of the Armed Forces of Nigeria as well as other para-military agencies. Since the DG refused to settle for below average performance, he worked assiduously to ensure that the Corporation goes into full blast, production of 7.62 x 39mm ammunition. According to him, it was only when this laudable goal was attained that he could now have some sense of satisfaction.
- Though the road to full blast production was rough and bumpy he maintains superlative optimism that he would get to the desire heaven of sustainable production of 7.62 x 39mm special for the Premier Industry. Thus, lots of success stories are currently emanating from DICON especially in the new Production Line coupled with the fact that the primer Cap Factory located in Kachia, one of the visions vigorously pursued by Gen Ogunkale is about 70% completed by dint of coincidence, he came on board when an administration that has the Political will to turn things around in the Premier Industry is in power. The budget released so far has made a lot of difference and the DG cannot but appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring DICON becomes the Epic Centre of much orchestrated Military Industrial Complex (MIC).
- As we compile this report, all the Civil and Military component needed for the full blast production of 7.62 x 39mm special are on the ground. The DG who is also vast in the knowledge of diplomacy has succeeded in persuading the Chinese partner to come and all the money needed for their coming to Nigeria with the aim of assisting in production and also train our own personnel so that there will be no vacuum after they have left have been fully paid. Earlier, the DG had done some foundational works, by replacing old transformers, reconfiguring some buildings in the factory, drilling more bore holes for adequate supply of water, which is one of the essential commodities in the production line and many more.
- The “Chinese quarters” where the technicians from China will be accommodated has been renovated and well furnished all to ensure there would be no complaining that they were not well treated when they come. We learnt such complaint was made when they come first. The DG had to assure them it would not be like that again. Hence, he has put all that would make their stay in Nigeria a memorable one in place. In fact, he took one of his trusted staff, Emmy Johnson, along a month ago when he was going to the final negotiation to invite them to Nigeria, to learn how to prepare Chinese dish. Judging from the level of preparation put in place the DG and the entire DICON family are highly optimistic that the production of 7.62 x 39mm special would no doubt be sustained once and for all.
- The President, the Minister of Defense and other stakeholders have demonstrated their willingness to restore DICON to the glorious dream of the founding fathers, the DG and his management team is equally ready to go extra mile to realize this objective, it is therefore heart warming to DICON family.