Local production of military and paramilitary uniforms will begin in the country by January 2023, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has said.
While disclosing this in Abuja, ICRC explained that the production project is a joint venture Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and Sur Corporate Wear to create the Sur Corporate Wear Nig. Ltd.
The DICON Sur collaboration, which will span a concession period of 20 years, will be responsible for producing uniforms for the Army, Navy, Air force, Police, Civil Defence and other military and paramilitary organizations.
In a meeting at the instance of the ICRC, the Commission’s Acting Director-General, Michael Ohiani had charged all stakeholders in the project to resolve all issues that were hindering the completion of the factory and report back to the Commission in one week.
At the rescheduled meeting chaired by Dr. Jobson Ewalefoh, Director of the Contract Compliance Department (CCD) in the ICRC, all stakeholders in the project were charged to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time frame.
Ewalefoh said the project is very important to the nation, as it would curb capital flight, create over 920 jobs and also a thing of pride for the nation to produce its own uniforms.
He added that as the project progresses, the DICON Sur joint venture is expected to begin to source all its raw materials from within Nigeria.
“The fact that we produce our military and paramilitary uniforms locally is a pride to all of us. It is a pride that we all must uphold. Sudan is producing its military kits and I know DICON can do it if they have the right support,” he said.
He assured all stakeholders that the ICRC, as part of its regulatory function, will liaise with all the relevant government agencies to fast track the ongoing process of securing approval for off takers when production begins in January.
He hinted that going forward, the ICRC through its Contract Compliance Department (CCD), will make the DICON Sure Project a priority and as such monitor its progress until it is completed.
He pledged that the ICRC will continue to intervene to make PPP projects operate smoothly.
Speaking at the interactive meeting, the Managing Director of Sur Corporate Wear Nig. Ltd., Burhan Can Karabulut commended the management of ICRC for intervening and ensuring that the project was brought back on track and would now be hitch-free going forward.
He also extended the commendation to the investors, adding that following the intervention of the ICRC and the meeting of stakeholders that ensued, the investor had agreed to release funds for the completion of the project.
He said that the company had so far raised the completion rate to 68 per cent, adding that the remaining funds for the project will be released very soon so as to meet the completion goal.
“If the work resumes in July, it is assumed that we can start commissioning as of January, but this January, the commissioning will not be 100 per cent production,” he said.
He, however, said the designs for the uniforms had yet to be approved and as such the company cannot source its raw materials for production, stressing that without the approval, production cannot commence.