From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Defence has resolved to summon all the security agencies, except the Nigerian Army, for allegedly failing to patronize the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).
The committee adopted the resolution, on Thursday, when the management of DICON appeared before it to defend its 2023 budget proposals.
The DICON Director General, Major General Hassan Tafida, while responding to questions from the lawmakers, had noted that it is only the Nigerian Army that currently patronizes the corporation.
Tafida explained that this is because of the erroneous impression that the corporation is set to service only the army. He explained that the company was making efforts to engage other security agencies, so as to correct the notion.
The DG, while appealing to the parliament to jerk up the budgetary allocation of the agency, said it has not been able to upgrade its machines, since it was established in 1964. Consequently, he explained that that has made it impossible for the company to operate optimally.
Nevertheless, Tafida, who stated that Executive Order 5 has “given us the opportunity to bring indigenous investors,” expressed that the involvement of the private sector will help the company in rising its capital base.
Earlier, the committee chairman, Babajimi Benson, in his opening address, tasked DICON to leverage Executive Order 5 which “recommends that preference should be given to indigenous companies in government procurement.”
Babajimi, who noted that that will help to boost the revenue base of the company and make it self-sufficient, expressed satisfaction that “DICON’s role in the production of military hardware has significantly impacted on the Nigerian Armed Forces in diverse ways.”
Regardless, the lawmaker stated that “We are dissatisfied that, so far, only the Nigerian Army patronises DICON. We believe that the DICON management must explore avenues of expanding its scope and drawing larger patronage from more agencies both in the public and private sectors. Indeed, there is room for more and better achievements.”
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