Zaria — The Chief of Defense Staff, Gen Gabriel Olanisakin yesterday pledge Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), Zaria of their intention to partner with the institute to produce military boots.
He made the disclosure on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to the institute, in Zaria.
The Defence chief , who was represented by the Deputy Director, Sea System, Commodore Onegbe Christopher Obenta, expressed appreciation with the facilities and caliber of staff in the institute.
"Let me start by congratulating the institute for the extensive equipment that I have seen.
"We are here to see for ourselves the possibility of collaborating with the institute in the production of some of our wears, especially the footwear.
"From what I have seen, I think the institute would be able to meet our standard," he said.
Olanisakin observed that , why they called it collaborative effort is not just about awarding a contract and allow the institute to do what it wants but also the military will be contributing on how and what it wants.
"If you make a boot, we may proffer suggestions so that when we wear them there will be more comfortability and will stand the test of time.
"In line with Mr President's made-in-Nigeri's spirit, it is gladdening to have some institutions like this meeting our demands, to put an end to importation," he said.
In her remarks the Acting Director-General, NILEST, Dr Ekeria Ngozie-Oparah appreciated the delegation for what she described as a fruitful visit.
She explained that the institute was established in 1964 by the then Northern Nigeria Government and UNDP as a hide and skin improvement centre.
The D-G said the institute started as a training institute before it became a research institute, adding that it was the only institute providing training on leather in West Africa sub-region.
According to her, the institute had the capacity to produce 20,000 military boots within a short specified period of time.
Oparah said most of the students from NILEST were performing excellently in their postgraduate programmes better than their colleagues from universities.