The Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI) has benefited immensely from the various products of the Nigeria’s premier Defence Industry, the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and the school would always explore possible areas of collaboration with DICON as one of its stakeholders as well as benefactors of the Corporation’s products.
The Commandant of NASI, Brig Gen J Sarham, who was on courtesy visit to DICON headquarters, Kaduna, tasked the corporation to maintain the tempo of proffering solution to the needs of the military through home-grown technology”
Sarham noted that he was delighted with the success stories emanating from DICON, especially in the area of fabrication of new spare parts for the backloaded weapons from the theatres of operation across the country, especially the North East, through reverse engineering.
The Commandant recalled that the Director-General, DICON, Major General Bamidele Ogunkale mentored him as a cadet in the Nigerian Defence Academy and he was quite abreast of his antecedent as a trailblazer. He added that he could not assume new office in Jaji, without paying him homage.
According to him, he would always capitalise on the proximity of Jaji to Kaduna to constantly solicit the support and tutelage of the DG, gleaning from his wealth of experience.
“I was in the North East for a period and it is true that the Electronic Jammer and the Integrated Reinforced Obstacle Belt (IROB) patented by General Ogunkale which were launched into the theatre of operation, dramatically changed the narratives of the fight against the insurgents for good”, he said.
Brig Gen Sarham further noted that DICON was being looked upon as home of research and technology, hence the need for NASI to always come to the Corporation for solution stressing that there could be no business in the School of Infantry without definite assistance from the premier industry.
“As a young officer, I have been bringing weapons to DICON for repairs and it has always come to our aid. I will, therefore, enjoin the corporation to maintain the tempo of proffering solution to the needs of the military through home-grown technology”, he disclosed.
Welcoming the visitor to DICON, Major General Ogunkale gave a detailed brief of the current activities of DICON, noting that in past the perception of some members of the public was that the Corporation produce only furniture.
According to him, when the production of military products were at the low, owing to breakdown of machines or low patronage, excess capacity from the wood factory established solely to produce rifle butts as well as ammunition boxes for packaging was used to produce furniture, stressing that the Corporation was able to offset bills through that, while at the same time, carrying out civil function in aid to Civil Authority. He added that the premier industry recently produced some high quality chairs and desks for Zonkwa Local Government in Kaduna State.
He further disclosed that DICON was taking some giant strides through reverse engineering adding that many repairs have been carried out for the army and Airforce in particular. He promised to send a team to NASI, who would assess their area of need before swinging into action