President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the military and other security services to procure their uniforms and other kits from the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).
The President gave the directives at the foundation laying ceremony of DICON Research and Development Centre, Kaduna.
The centre is putting up a garment industry in partnership with a Turkish firm, expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
“I hereby direct that the Nigeria Armed Forces, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and other para-military and uniform agencies to procure their uniforms and relevant accessories from this factory when its becomes functional,” he stressed.
The President, who was represented by Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, directed Ministers of Defence, Police affairs and interior to ensure strict adherence to the directive.
He explained that the project was a demonstration of his government’s determination to encourage public private partnership through foreign direct investment.
“I am aware of the challenges faced by the armed forces of Nigeria in the area of procurement of military uniforms and accoutrements especially on standardisation of fabric quality design, as well as misuse of military uniforms by imposters and criminals.”
The President said it was due to the challenge that government was prompted to establish the factory so as to produce befitting uniforms for the armed forces and other security agencies.
The President also used the occasion to reaffirm the commitment and desire of the Nigerian government to encourage and welcome genuine investors wishing to invest in the vast social, economic and industrial opportunities in Nigeria.
“I want to assure partners and investors that the Nigerian government has policies on ease of doing businesses, local content development and other micro policies that are aimed at encouraging foreign direct investment into economy”.
“This partnership is another fruitful economic relation between Nigeria and Turkish governments, hence, investors are welcome to Nigeria; we will give you the necessary incentive and protection you need.”
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olanishakin explained that the project was part of conscious efforts to revitalize DICON.
He explained that the defence headquarters had established the defence research and development centre to conceptualise, design and produce various defence equipment such as; communication gadgets, counter improvise explosives among others.
Olanishakin noted that reviving DICON remained top priority for the Nigerian Government especially at this period when the Nation is faced with numerous security challenges.
Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi said Nigeria’s partnership with SUR Corporate wear of Turkey demonstrated President Buhari’s administration’s commitment to revive the moribund industries in the country.
He thanked the President for approving the project which would create enabling environment for all businesses as well as encourage inflow of direct foreign investment.
The minister explained that the company is expected to provide necessary kits for the military and other security agencies in Nigeria and other African countries.
The Acting Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe said the State government has marked an appropriate industrial park to facilitate investment in various areas and would welcome interested companies.
“This ground breaking event represents the first effort in decades to invest in a new textile factory in Kaduna state. It is a new source of jobs and a welcome contribution to the economic development of our dear State”.
She expressed hope that the new venture would succeed in demonstrating the viability of locally produced textiles.
“We hope that it will help to accelerate the realisation of other initiatives in the textile sector.”
The Acting Governor added that the State was always ready and prepared for wide and sincere partnerships to accelerate economic growth.