In a significant stride towards bolstering Nigeria’s defense capabilities, President Bola Tinubu has given his assent to the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Bill, 2023. The new legislation, a vital update to the original Act of Parliament established on August 1, 1964, and revised in 2004, is poised to revolutionize the nation’s defense sector.
The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2023, marks a departure from its predecessor, equipping DICON with expanded powers and responsibilities aimed at fortifying the country’s military prowess. Key provisions of the new law include:
1. Enhanced Operational Control: DICON is now empowered to operate, maintain, and control subsidiaries and ordnance factories, facilitating the manufacturing, storage, and disposal of ordnance and ancillary materials.
2. Technological Advancements: The establishment of the Defence Industry Technology, Research, and Development Institute (DITRDI) is a groundbreaking move. This institute will serve as the epicenter for scientific and research-based technological advancements, fostering collaboration between multiple military research institutes and promoting the commercialization and development of new military technology in Nigeria.
3. Regulatory Framework: The Act provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for the manufacturing, distribution, storage, and disposal of defense articles within Nigeria, ensuring adherence to strict standards and protocols.
4. Private Sector Engagement: The legislation aims to incentivize the development of a nuanced financing architecture, encouraging private capital to play a pivotal role in research, development, and production within the defense sector. This is expected to bring transparency and predictability to the financing process.
The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Bill, 2023, was championed by Hon. Babajimi Benson, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, representing the APC — Ikorodu Federal Constituency.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, conveyed the President’s endorsement of the bill on November 23, 2023. This development marks a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s defense landscape, ushering in an era of technological innovation and strategic growth in the defense sector.
- By ken Gbados.