8 February 2005

Nigeria: Armoured Vehicles: the Bemil Approach

Lagos — Due to the increasing number of attacks on bullion vans by armed robbers, and the menance caused by these vans on other road users, Bemil Nigeria Limited, in conjunction with Griffin Armour Incorporated, an American company, has offered an alternative means of cash transit

The banks are getting bigger and the risks are getting higher, so in order to meet the needs of safer and higher capacity vehicles in the business of cash transit within and out of the town, Bemil Nigeria, an indegenous company, has offered a solution.

And because the technology is not readily available, Bemil has won the collaboration of Griffin Armour, based in the United States of America in this venture, as already, three expatriates from the company are presently in Nigeria to ensure a smooth take-off.

The armoured Complete Knock Down parts are imported from the USA while Bemil gets the chasis for the assemblage from GM Nigeria, that is the Isuzu Rhino chasis, which is already common in the market.

The Rhino used for this purpose is the air conditioned and heater Red/Dot model 8545, just as the armoured truck parts are Griffin slam lock, safe slam locks, bullet resistant glass level 3 sizes etc.

Others parts are Wise seats WM 918R, interior dome lights, all purpose 12 volt lamp, G-Black wiper motors, wiper arms, 14" wiper blades, momentary toggle switch, headlight, door dead bolt gate latch, gun ports, jump seats and brackets, air vents among others.

The vehicle is armoured on six sides-front, rear, roof, floor, side walls and doors even as it boast of being manufactured with up to date techniques and systems coming with a combination of ballistic steel and other materials. The Close circuit TV, siren, revolving lamp, electronic locking system etc are also provided as options on the vehicle.

Olajide Martins Junior, the Security director of Bemil Nigeria Limited, said during a tour of the assembly line of the company located in Ojudu, Ogun state, the new Bemil armoured trucks are coming with numerous advantages over those that are fully imported.

First, he explained that the cost of acquiring this capacity of armoured truck which is about N20million would now be forced down as his company's offer is very competitive, hence, according to him, there are already enquiries for the locally built trucks.

He added that parts inventory is consistently kept at a level to satisfy customer requirements and meet immediate production and delivery needs, noting that those armoured vehicles that are fully imported, unfortunately suffer from interrupted parts supply.

Noting that his company's choice of Griffin is because of its track record as one of the famous amoured vehicles and ballistic materials provider in the USA, Olajide said it takes between one to two weeks to assemble a unit of the vehicle in Nigeria.

According to him, there is a need to replace the bullion vans due to the various menance associated with it, even as he added that it is also important to protect the protector of the consignment in transit.

Olajide projects that his company would be able to sell about seven units of the truck every month, even as he envisaged that the expansion plan gives room for more units to be produced by next year.

He also stated that some notable companies, especially banks, have already contacted Bemil for the supply of the vehicles, of which some units are at various stages of production in the Ojudu plant.

Other than building armoured vehicles for interested companies, Bemil, Olajide added, has been involved in the provision of cash transit services for over a decade and as such, is well experienced in the business.

He reasoned that with a sound team of an experienced engineer from GM Nigeria (MKO Balogun), who is now an in charge of the plant, himself, a security expert, the expatriate, who would be in Nigeria for about a month and other technicians, the trucks are the better for it.

Engineer Balogun explained that all the company's customers can be assured of quality products, as total quality management and control are being ensured at every level of production, adding that two years warranty for the chasis, and multiple number of years warranty for the body are provided.

Griffin Incorporated, which is solid behind Bemil in this project, prides itself as a symbol of vigilance. The company says "it takes the vision of an eagle to anticipate our customer's needs and see innovative solution

"And the icon-like strength of our vehicles provide constant, crucial protection, not only for the valuables our customers guard, but for the lives of the people who climb into our trucks every day". The Griffin expatriates, three in number, said they are satisfied with the level of work achieved so far in the project.

Copyright © 2005 This Day. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.