The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has lauded the progress made so far by the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) under the leadership of Maj.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu.
Buratai, during a visit to DICON on Thursday, also placed order for more fighting equipment for Nigerian Army to be locally produced by the corporation in Kaduna.
He said that the army authorities would continue to partner and support DICON to enhance its capacity to address the defence needs of Nigeria locally.
According to him, there have been new technological innovations as a result of research and development and have introduced quality products that have been injected into our military hardware equipment.
“From the statistics shown from the achievements of DICON under the result oriented DG, the Nigerian army tops the chart in patronage in virtually all procurement of your equipment and I want to assure you that Nigerian army will continue to patronise you.
“That is the best way for us to solve the security challenges across our country. We will continue to look inward to get our ammunition from DICON and to this end, we are placing order for 10 million rounds of 7.62mm.
“We are also placing order for three million of 12.7mm ammunition. We already have 42 MRAPs which we have signed the contract and be rest assured that in our next year budget, we are still going to order more.
“For your military messtin and water bottle, you will be the sole supplier of all this to our recruits in Depot and our cadets in training in the defence academy. This is very important and it is the best way to support our local production,” he said.
Buratai urged the corporation to continue to evolve more research and development, adding that if DICON maintain its standard, it would soon produce aircraft.
He said the performance of DICON in the last one year had produced the right equipment, direction, leadership and administration as well as increased production.
According to him, Mr President’s political will is what we are reaping from and we will continue to support him to reposition the armed forces through self-reliance in all our defence needs.
“I want to also assure Mr President that the myriad of security challenges we are facing will not only be resolved in the shortest possible time but we will further consolidate on the achievements that have been recorded so far,” he added.
The Army Chief urged the management and staff of the corporation to continue to support the current leadership to ensure that the progress made was sustained.
He also advised the DG to ensure that all heads of departments were granted freedom to operate for maximum result.
Earlier, Ezugwu thanked Buratai for the support of the Nigerian Army to the corporation, adding that army procured 72 per cent of DICON products.
Ezugwu disclosed that DICON had transformed in many ways in the last one year by evolving in research and development that had produced positive results.
He assured that DICON would continue to ensure that it meets the defence needs of the Nigerian armed forces locally.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that among the factories visited by Buratai include the ordnance factory where several types of arms and ammunition were being manufactured.
Buratai later proceeded to Jaji were he inaugurated the newly renovated main gate of the Cantonment, inspected various ongoing projects and laid foundation for the construction of Infantry Polo Club.