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Reps vow to compel security agencies to patronize DICON

Major General Hassan Tafida and his team. Photo: Ibrahim Shehu

The House of Representatives Committee on Defence has summoned all heads of security agencies in the country over their refusal to buy arms and ammunition from the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON).

The chairman of the committee, Babajimi Benson announced the summon when the Director of the corporation Major General Hassan Tafida, appeared before the committee for the 2023 budget defense session.

Mr Benson said there was a need for the nation’s security agencies to first source arms and ammunition locally before going outside.

He said the lawmakers would give it legal teeth compelling all security agencies to buy arms and ammunition from DICON.

“We do not see why it is only the Army that is patronising DICON, the Air force and Navy should also as a matter of urgency patronise DICON.

“And by this, we will save foreign exchange, we will improve our local technology and our youths will have some forms of jobs

In his submission, the Director General of the corporation, Major General Hassan Tafida, accused security agencies of not patronising DICON for purchase of arms and ammunition adding that they rather preferred to go outside to buy.

This according to him is because there is no law stopping or compelling them from purchasing arms and ammunition from DICON.

“It is that perception that we cannot provide all the things they need, so they go outside and the law did not restrict them from going outside. So these are some of the things that needs to be corrected.

“This is why DICON must wake up from the status it was to a new status. We are making effort to ensure that the military industrial complex is a reality in Nigeria,” he said.

General Tafida said others from the private sector were already coming in and building factories, producing Armoured Personnel Carriers and also going into the production of weapons and ammunition.

He said all that was needed to be put in place was the country’s own homegrown technology, saying, if you wait to transfer technology from anywhere you will not get it so we have to start producing ours.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino