She stated this while delivering her address during the maiden meeting of Defence Related Industries in Nigeria, held at the Ministry of Defence, Abuja.
According to her, the maiden meeting of Defence Related Industries was aimed at translating the grouping together of this body into Defence Industries Association of Nigeria, stressing that Nigeria was endowed with numerous indigenous DRIs that have made great achievements individually.
“A clear example was the exhibition of various defence related industries equipment, gadgets on various platforms by our own DRIs during the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2018 held at Monguno in Borno State”.
She lamented that these indigenous DRIs were not organized into an association in the nation to galvanized their various potentials and capacities which the individual industry and the nation ought to have benefited immensely from.
The Permanent Secretary further stated that the establishment of Military Industrial Complex (MIC) for Nigeria with DICON as the epi centre, to cater for the ordnance requirements of the nation’s Armed Forces and other security agencies, occupies the front burner position in the heart of the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“To attain the lofty objectives of the establishment of MIC in line with the President’s directives there is no better time than now when DRIs are coming together to establish a formidable body that will be known as Defence Industries Association of Nigeria (DIAN)” she said.
She also noted that if Nigeria were to borrow a leaf from the South Africa Aerospace Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) and Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR) as the umbrella body that harmonize and regulate the affairs of all their indigenous DRIs, the benefits both to the individual industry as well as the nation could be heart warming.
The Permanent Secretary also noted with high optimism that the DIAN will no doubt benefit from the Federal Government’s policy of Ease of Doing Business as enshrined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, adding that it will equally reduce the bureaucratic procedures encountered in sourcing for materials for manufacturing purposes.
Harping on market prospect, the Permanent Secretary asserted that Africa continent provides a ready market for the nation’s products and DIAN could leverage on such window of opportunity to maximize the potential benefits.
Earlier, the Director General Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Maj Gen Bamidele Ogunkale, while delivering his welcome address harped on the need for DRIs to come together under one umbrella, stressing that critical situations deserve critical actions as necessity would always be mother of all inventions.
Accordingly to the DG, most nations that have attained nuclear power status today, achieved the feat owing to some challenges which confronted them in past. He cited Pakistan as an example, though a third world country according to him, but became a nuclear power as a result of the numerous threats facing it.
He further stressed that the current security challenges facing the country have necessitated the revamping of the country’s defence capabilities, since no country can become strong on borrowed strength It is therefore important to become self reliant through indigenous developmental effort.
The DG further noted that the best way to achieve the laudable objectives of having an MIC to care of the ordnance need of the Nation’s Armed Force and other security agencies was to first establish Defence Industries Association of Nigeria where most of the teething challenges would be discussed, solution profered and the association would be a united voice.
The DG in his closing remark, thanked the Permanent Secretary MOD, Mrs Batagarawa for her strategic direction and unflinching support as the Chairman, DICON Board, the Director Joint Services Department, the two guest speakers, Engr Battah Ndripaya from Nigeria and Mr Simphiwe Hamilton from South Africa and all the Chief Executive Officers of DRIs and their Representatives for their individuals contributions to making the maiden meeting a success.