By Oduyemi Odumade
The House of Representatives Committee on Defence has expressed concern over the distressing state of the
Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, DICON, emphasises the imperative of revitalizing the corporation. we
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Babajimi Benson who explained that DICON was established in 1964 to provide the material needs of the nation’s Armed Forces and other security agencies, explained that the Corporation has not yet delivered on its mandate.
Realizing the urgency to revive DICON, the Lawmaker 2019 Sponsored the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Bill.
According to him, The Bill seeks to transform DICON into a Military Industrial Complex MIC, by making it largely self-funding and giving it the powers to regulate local and international military businesses thereby saving cost in the procurement of military hardware and providing jobs for Nigerians.
The Member Representation Ikorodu Federal Constituency noted the key highlights of the bill to include expanding its functions to include operations, maintenance and control of ordinance factories for the manufacture, storage and disposal of materials intended for or capable of being used by the Armed Forces, other security agencies and such other forces or persons as may be authorized.
“Enlarging the membership of the Governing Board to include all critical stakeholders; increasing the powers and scope of the agency to include policy formulation; empowering the agency to set up subsidiaries in partnership with local and international companies towards meeting the material needs of the armed forces and other security agencies through wholesale ownership or acquiring equities in enterprises with relevant products.
“Authorizing the agency to produce and supply arms and ammunition in Nigeria, in addition to the exclusive right of purchase, manufacture and sale of explosives (subject to the provisions of the Explosives Act); establishment of a Defence Procurement Committee for the Corporation to enhance transparency and accountability.
“Ensuring that the Corporation’s funds consist of statutory budgetary allocation, monies provided by Government for the acquisition of relevant defence production capabilities, including missile and aerospace technology, and monies as may accrue from such other source _consistent with the objectives and functions of the Corporation.
“Ability to collaborate with the Defence Industries Association of Nigeria (DIAN) and other relevant associations; power for regulation and license manufacturers of Defence Articles; establish a Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria Technology, Research and Development Institute among several other provisions”, he added.
Mr. Benson expressed confidence that once approved, this bill will enhance the crucial agency’s ability to deliver essential services, particularly in transforming the security architecture of the country, especially in the current circumstances.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Bukky Alabi
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