HomeNewsPublic PolicyWhy Defence Industry Corporation bill was reintroduced- Babajimi Benson

Why Defence Industry Corporation bill was reintroduced- Babajimi Benson


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The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, has called for the revival of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, Kaduna through the DICON bill recently reintroduced into the House.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Benson said the DICON has been in a pitiable condition and requires urgent intervention by changing its legislative framework.

According to him, the corporation has not lived up to its mandate.

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The DICON was established in 1964 to provide the material needs of the nation’s armed forces and other security agencies.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had tried to revive the corporation while in power.

In 2019, the former president directed the military and other security services to procure their uniforms and other kits from DICON.

Also in that year, Mr Benson brought a bill before the 9th House seeking to transform the corporation into a Military Industrial Complex (MIC) by making it self-funded but it was defeated.

The lawmaker, who recently reintroduced the bill said, if passed, the corporation would be strengthened to provide the much-needed service of transforming the country’s security architecture.

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“This bill will strengthen this very important agency to provide the much-needed service for transforming the security architecture of our country, especially at a time like this.

“It will regulate local and international military businesses thereby saving cost in the procurement of military hardware and providing jobs for Nigerians.”

Mr Benson further explained that the bill seeks to expand the function of the corporation as well as its governing board.

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The bill seeks to: “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;

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“Ensuring that the Corporation’s funds consist of statutory budgetary allocation, monies provided by Government for 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; establishes a Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria Technology, Research and Development Institute among several other provisions.”

The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria was established by an Act of Parliament in 1964. Consequently a West German manufacturing firm Fritz Werner was assigned the task of providing technical expertise and set up the Ordnance Factory in Kaduna.

The first Technical Partner of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) was Fritz Werner of Western Germany. FW designed and built the Kaduna Ordnance Factories in 1964 with the following production capacities, 5000 units of BM 59 Rifles per annum, 18,000 units of SMG 12 per annum, 12,000,000 rounds of 7.62mm x 51 per annum and 4,000,000 rounds of 9mm x 19 per annum.

The Nigerian Civil War which occurred between 1967 -1970 necessitated the tripling of the above production rates and the factory was thus able to make a significant contribution to the war effort. After the war in 1970, the lucrative arms market for DICON ended.

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Therefore, in order to remain in business DICON decided to use its equipment to produce civilian items like rural water supply equipment, industrial spare parts and furniture for sale to the public.

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