The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) yesterday hinted that the country would start local production of uniforms for its military and paramilitary personnel from January 2023.
The move was expected to create over 920 employment opportunities for Nigerians.
The initiative 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. Limited.
The DICON Sur collaboration which would span a concession period of 20 years, would be responsible for producing uniforms for the army, navy, air force, police, civil defense and other military and paramilitary organisations.
In a meeting at the instance of the ICRC, the commission’s acting Director-General, Mr. 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.
However, at the rescheduled meeting chaired by the Director of the Contract Compliance Department (CCD) in the ICRC, Dr. Jobson Ewalefoh, stakeholders were further urged to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time frame.
Ewalefoh said that the project remained important to the country as it will curb capital flight, create over 920 jobs and will also be a thing of pride for the nation to produce its own uniforms.
He added that the DICON Sur joint venture was also expected to begin to source all its raw materials from within Nigeria in the course of operation.
The ICRC director explained: “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 their own military kits and I know DICON can do it if they have the right support.”
In a statement by the commission’s acting Head, Media and Publicity, Manji Yarling, Ewalefoh, however, 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 said 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 also pledged that the commission would continue to intervene to make PPP projects operate smoothly in the country.
Also, speaking at the interactive session, the Managing Director of Sur Corporate Wear Nigeria Limited, Burhan Can Karabulut, commended the management of ICRC for intervening and ensuring that the project was hitch-free.
He noted 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 taken the project to 68 per cent completion, adding that the remaining funds for the project will be released 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 added.
He however said the designs for the uniforms was yet to be approved and as such the company cannot source its raw materials for production, adding that without the approval, the production could not begin.
Culled from THISDAY