The Director General, Research and Development Bureau (DR&DB), Air Vice Marshal Onyemaechi Osahor has expressed satisfaction with research and development efforts of Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Research and Development Centre.
The DG DR&DB who was represented by Brigadier General Musiliu Bashirudeen made the remarks when he led a team to DICON Headquarters on assessment visit. According to him, the collaboration between DR&DB and DICON as well as other Defence related institutions with research and development outfit became necessary owing to persistent security challenges confronting the nation for which an urgent solution is needed, adding that DICON in recent times has been rated high in terms of proffering such solution.
He further stated that he was delighted that DICON’s research and development efforts would not only end at the prototype level, but would be poised to mass produce military products needed in the theatre of operations across the country, especially in the North East. His words: “I am happy with the level of innovations injected into fabricating combat vehicles with about 70 percent local content giving priority attention to the safety of the troops which should be the main concern of every right thinking commander”.
According to him, there were lots of disappointments with Hilux vehicles with special emphasis on the failure as a result of rugged terrain, but that the new vehicles manufactured in DICON were designed to mitigate many challenges common with those imported vehicles.
On the issue of ammunition, the team leader noted that with the production process witnessed in the factory during the visit, he was highly optimistic that DICON would be able to meet the ammunition needs of the nation’s Armed Forces and other paramilitary agencies. On his impression about the efforts of the new DG who is barely 3 months old in the helm of the affairs in DICON, he stated that he was highly impressed with his efforts, stressing that Maj Gen Victor Ezugwu had always been a trail blazer judging from his antecedent. He further stated that he was in full support of his local content drive in DICON, stressing that it was the best way to go since most of the spare parts could be obtained locally which could huge conserve foreign exchange.
Earlier, the DG DICON, Gen Ezugwu who was represented by the Director of Engineering Services, Navy Capt Emmanuel Ebe said he was delighted that DICON had been rated as one of the dependable ally of DR&DB in her quest to find urgent solution to the security challenges facing the nation, stressing that with the efforts of the current DG and his leadership team, there was light in the horizon.
In a detailed brief, he highlighted the achievements of the management under the leadership of Gen Ezugwu to include: manufacturing of combat vehicles in collaboration with Command Engineering Depot (CED), production of the 7.62×3.9mm, establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office, manufacturing of dummy rifles for training purposes, reviving of moribund factory where ballistic vests, helmets, night vision goggles and other ordinance materials were being produced among others. He expressed the gratitude of the DICON family to the Board of DICON headed by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence (MOD) Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, the CDS and Service Chiefs for their strategic guidance and other numerous support.