By Princewill Ekwujuru
Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, DICON, a parastatal under the Ministry of Defence has entered into a strategic agreement with Equipment Protective Applications International Limited, EPAIL, for the production of defence equipment.
The equipment to be manufactured include ballistic vests, ballistic helmets among other defence-related equipment or items.
Director -General, DICON, Major-General Bamidele Ogunkale disclosed this during a facility tour of EPAIL at Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.
EPAIL is an affiliate of MOMAS Group of Companies that is responsible for the provision of security solutions to essential assets and infrastructure nationwide.
During the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding,MoU by both parties (DICON & EPAIL), the agreement will see the latter produce military hardware for the Nigerian military. Ogunkale lauded the EPAIL team for what he described as a world class facility capable of meeting the essential needs of the Nigerian Military.
He said: “We are impressed with what we have seen so far particularly with the level of investment in the facility and the fact that it is an indigenous company. In fact, we are proud to be associated with this company as it has given us opportunity to look inward to address the issue of insufficient military hardware.” He, however, noted that both companies will complement each other by combining technical know how with the facility with a view to ensure all the essential defence-related equipment are readily made available locally thereby removing a lot of encumbrances associated with importing security equipment into the country.
He said: “We are happy to be here and glad that you have the space and the facility. Although the joint venture agreement may not be as deep as you would think, we are hoping that going forward, it would expand. For us, we are excited to kick-start the agreement as soon as possible. More so, we are glad that EPAIL is ready to provide certification and verification for the security equipment. We believe our partnership with you would be a win-win situation.
“As we speak, some other paramilitary forces such as Civil Defence and Immigration are making great demand for some of the essential defence-related items. So, the challenge for us is to meet such increasing demand. I just hope that you as our partner, do not delay in providing the essential security items.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of EPAIL, Engineer Kola Balogun described the partnership between the company and DICON as a sign of good things to come for Nigeria, stressing that EPAIL is ready and prepared to meet the increasing demand of military hardware.