The Honourable Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has commended the Director General, Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Maj Gen Bamidele Ogunkale, his management team and the entire staff of the Corporation for the success achieved so far in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the Premier Industry and Sur Corporatewears from Turkey.

He made this remark when the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Chidi Izuwah presented to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) the full Business Case (FBC) compliance certificate for the establishment of military and para-military Clothing and Acessories Factory in DICON, Kaduna.

According to the highly elated Minister of Defence, the event was a cardinal milestone in a fairly long process that led to the consumation of the joint venture business outfit for which the FBC certificate was presented.

“Over the years it is regrettable that Nigeria has relied heavily on importation of not only hard wears and ammunitions but also clothing and accessories.  Decedes of existence of DICON has not significently achieved the desire to change the Nation’s fortune in this regard.”

The Minister however noted that the Federal Government under the able leadership of Presidednt Muhammadu Buhari was poised to change the hitherto existing narratives, adding that the Government was committed to the task of establishing a functional Military Industrial Complex (MIC) that would provide indigenous support for adequate kitting and equipping of Armed Forces.

He further stressed that the full Business Case compliance certificate for the project had lend credence to the potential of the project to herald the revival of a once thriving sector in Nigeria, which according to him would meet the accoutrement needs of the Armed Forces of Nigeria other para-military agencies when completed.

He expressed appreciation for the role played by ICRC which led to the formal presentation of the FBC as well as Sur Corporatewear for the company’s interest in Nigeria as exemplified by her abiding fate in the collaborative effort despite the long process.

Earlier, the Director General, DICON, Maj Gen Ogunkale, who gave an overview of DICON – SUR Collaboration noted with sense of satisfaction that DICON and Sur Corporatewear Company Limited, a Turkish Military Garment Factory had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the Factory in DICON premises in Kaduna.

According to him, though the journey to realising the laudable objective had been long and torturous riddled with several hurdles but he was delighted that both DICON and her business partner had painstakingly followed through.

He reeled out the milestones that were painstakenly chieved towards establishment of the factory to include; DICON Board approval to established the Joint Venture Company (JVC) with the name DICON-Sur Corporatewear; MoU between the duo which had been signed, initiation of the Joint Venture Company with Corporate Affairs Commission, initition of action with Infrasturcture Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC); others were, Publication of Request for Qualification (PRQ) on DICON website and two national newsapers (Blueprint and The Nation), due diligence visitation by ICRC and DICON to Turkey; obtaining from the Office of the National Security Adviser among others.

The DG seized the opportunity to express profound gratitude to President Muhammad Buhari under whose leadership and guidance the great feat had been achieved, stressing that the President had no doubt demonstrated the political will lacking in some clime.  He also thanked the Permenant Secretary, Mrs Nuratu Batarawa the Board Chairman, DG ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah, DICON’s external solicitor, Barrister Atoyebi, Mr Can Karabulut the country Rep of Sur Corporatewear and other strategic partners who contributed in one way or the other towards the current success story.

In his own remark, the DG ICRC Mr Chidi Izuwah who described the Presentation of Full Business Case certificate to Ministry of Defence as against stride, commended the visionary leadership of the Honourable Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali and his Management staff for driving the Ministry in the right direction aimed at realising the dreams of DICON’s founding fathers.

According to him, with the presentation of FBC certificate, having carefully reviewed the immense economic benefit to the Nation, the next stage would be to secure the President in council’s approval to enable DICON and Sur Corporatewear sign the final PPP contract which would lead to the immediate take off of the project.

“The project will bring an investment capital of 4 billion into the nation’s economy which will be soley financed by Sur Corporatewear.  It will also lead to creation of more than 10 thousand direct job as well as 10 to 15 thousand indirect job”.

The DG ICRC further noted that textile industry and associated value change was the best remedy for job creation, stressing that when the collaboration between DICON and Sur Corporatewear fully takes off, the moribund textile factory in Kaduna would begin to boom again.

He also stressed that the Nigeria huge population and her strategic geographical location within the continent of Africa make the immediate take off of the proposed industry compelling, adding that there was ready market in the West African sub region and subsequently Africa.

He further noted that the current success story in DICON and the drive towards the specific project in view were entirely due to the economic reform agenda of President Muhammad Buhari.  He therefore commended the President for demonstrating the political will, stating that he was looking forward to seeing him perform the ground breaking ceremony soonest.