Kaduna — The Director-General, Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Major General Victor Okwudili Ezugwu has expressed readiness of Nigeria's premier military industry to partner with the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in the promotion of local contents in its production.
The NSE national leadership had paid a courtesy visit on the company to see how it was fairing with a view to identifying possible areas of collaboration especially civil engineering.
Fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the visit at DICON headquarters in Kaduna on Wednesday, the DICON Boss hinted that the company is currently using a little above 40 percent local content in its production aimed at reaching about 55 percent at the end of the year.
According to the DG, the company has already reached 100 percent local content in terms of manpower development as none of the staff is a foreigner.
"Our target is to achieve 70 percent local content in some of the productions we have - be it on the vehicle, be it on the mines, or on the military hardware.
"So far, we have crossed 40 percent and we are looking at about 55 percent by the end of the year if our Research and Development Centre (R and D) turn out to be positive in terms of the propeller for our arm production.
"Most importantly, we have started to believe in ourselves. Talking about local content in terms of manpower development, we have scored 100 percent because we don't have any foreigner from any country on a consultancy or technical basis. We have taken our destiny into our hands.
"We are grateful to God for giving us President Muhammadu Buhari who has been directing people to DICON to get what we can produce locally instead of sourcing such abroad," he said.
Earlier, President of NSE, Engineer Babagana Mohammed commended the leadership of the company for putting local contents development in its front burner saying, the federal government must deliberately support local content in the overall interest of the country.
He said, "One of our mandates is to see where engineering is being developed so we can offer professional support to ensure such firm or establishment functions to capacity. This is my first time of coming to DICON and what I saw is remarkable.
"As an ordinary Nigerian, if we can put DICON in its place, 50 percent of our needs will be addressed. I have seen the laboratory and R & D which are essential for any engineering firm to grow capacity in Nigeria."