By Mohammed Tijjani
The aviation ministry will partner with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) in various areas, including airports security.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said this during a working visit to the industry on Monday in Kaduna.
Sirika said DICON has the capacity to produce efficient, strong and reliable hardwares for the military and agencies of government that are critical to national defence, security and economy.
“I want to guarantee you that the outcome of the collaboration, cooperation and partnership between aviation and DICON would be in the best interest of the country.
“We would certainly also go into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between aviation and DICON.
“In my own opinion and from what I have seen, I think the Federal Government should invest hugely in DICON; more into research and development.
“I am sure if you bring in a billion dollar here, you would get value for your money and much more.
“This would begin certainly to put Nigeria on the world map of technological advancement.
“This cause is of course for our military, police, civil defence and our fighting forces in the country and all the people that would be needing high tech equipments,” he said.
According to him, there is pure science and technology exhibited in the industry, under the leadership of the Dirctor General, Maj.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu.
“He has changed DICON in only one year he has been here; I am sure with the great changes and achievements, he must have gassed out his team.
“With what I have seen here, in Nigeria we can practically do everything, example is the surveillance vehicle which could be used in our airports to monitor perimeter fences and roads.
“I have also seen quite a number of amunitions and a lot more; we are highly impressed and it had changed my thoughts, hitherto when you say DICON, I think of furniture.
“As politicians, we also see the social angle, in terms of employment that it brings about, it’s a glory for our country,” the minister stated.
Sirika pledged to advocate for more funding for DICON and other organisations to deepen research and development.
According to him, it was the only way through which Nigeria would compete in the global space and provide the needed services to the people.
“Civil aviation has changed, so also DICON has changed, therefore, we have seen areas of partnership and cooperation.
“We put security as our number one priority, we have developed a road map part of which was the approval by the president for FAAN security to bear arms for effective security of the airports.
“That made me appear before the National Executive Council and they advised on seeing how I could partner with you.
“I must also be frank to say that I have seen areas of cooperation and collaboration in working together from your material laboratory. For example, I have seen accident investigations you wrote,” Sirika said.
In his remark, Ezugwu welcomed the collaboration with the aviation ministry, saying that it was in line with the Executive Order 5, directing ministries, departments and agencies to leverage on local content.
“So we are cashing on this directive of Mr President to make sure DICON affords the Ministry of Aviation arrays of defence related equipment that are suitable for security in the aviation sector.
“By doing this, we are hoping that our surveillance equipment production, ballistic equipment will be of immense contribution to the development of aviation security,” the DICON director general said.