For a visionary leader, concentration is one of his cardinal principles in his bid to attain a specific goal or purpose in life endeavour. When Maj Gen Bamidele Ogunkale was saddled with the responsibility of piloting the affairs of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) as the first senior officer from Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers, some
skeptics within the military circle felt it was an aberration because the post of DG DICON had been specifically headed by the corps of Nigerian Army, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
General Ogunkale did not just hit the ground running as soon as he assumed office, being conscious of the cloud of witness comprising people of favourable and unfavourable opinion about his ability but carefully articulated his strategies to move the premier institution to the level that it would become pride of the nation. Looking backward, he had proper perception of the fact that DICON founding fathers had good vision for the nation’s defence industry which also is the only kind in West African sub-region. Considering the current events within the global community, he does not need any special adviser to know that what is currently trending within the industrial domain, especially among the third world nations is collaboration.
Towards this end, he wasted no timeto travel far and wide with the sole aim of collaborating with defence-related companies or industries as well as academia. Some of these companies visited DICON several times which dove-tailed into signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between them and DICON. Key among such defence-related companies is Proforce Nigeria Limited, an indigenous company having Engr. Ade Ogundeyin as the Chief Executive Officer and specializes in production of Armour Vehicle and other military products. As soon as the DG spotted Proforce and the product fabricated for the Nigerian Police Force, he wasted no time to explore a golden opportunity made available. Thus, the DG went for facility tour at Proforce Industrial domain and Proforce equally visited DICON, which led to marriage of convenience between the two. Though MoU was signed, there were other hurdles to cross. One of such, which was not a tea party for the DG was securing End-User Certificate (EUC) for importation of some items for the MRAP APC. For the love of his country, the DG travelled countless number of times to Abuja to meet relevant government agencies for the EUC.
Gen Ogunkale having served in the theatre of operation in the North-East was quite abreast of the fact that some of the APCs deployed to Norh-East were not fabricated to withstand Nigerian harsh weather which led to some of them breaking down frequently. He then set to initiate the fabrication of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Armoured Personnel Carrier to mitigate already identified problems in the North-East or other theatre of operation.