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Senator Natasha Urges Complete Local Production of Military Kits to Boost Economy

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Senator Natasha Urges Complete Local Production of Military Kits to Boost Economy

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Senator Natasha Urges Complete Local Production of Military Kits to Boost Economy

Senator Natasha H Akpoti-Uduaghan, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Local Content, has called on the federal government to embrace a 100% local manufacturing approach for military kits.

During an interactive session on the 2024 budget with the Senate Committee on Defence and Defence Headquarters, Senator Natasha emphasized the need to use local industries for producing uniforms for military officials.

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Expressing concern about the sourcing of military uniforms, she inquired whether the uniforms are locally produced or imported and sought details on the budgetary provision for this aspect.

As the Chair of the Local Content Committee, Senator Natasha stressed the importance of utilizing local industries for manufacturing military boots and uniforms, contributing to the nation’s revenue and creating job opportunities.

Senator Natasha specifically suggested situating the manufacturing industries in Kogi Central, emphasizing the tailoring skills of the Ebira people. Additionally, she recommended establishing a barracks facility in Kogi Central to enhance regional security.

In response, the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, highlighted that the budgetary provision for uniforms is part of the armed forces’ budget.

He mentioned plans to revamp the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), an indigenous industry, to employ about 1,500 people for the production of military uniforms and boots. The minister also acknowledged existing local companies in Nigeria manufacturing boots, helmets, and protective wear.

The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Bill, 2023, recently assented to by President Bola Tinubu, empowers DICON to operate, maintain, and control subsidiaries and ordnance factories for the manufacturing, storage, and disposal of ordnance and ancillary stores and materials.

The act also establishes the Defence Industry Technology, Research, and Development Institute (DITRDI) to advance Nigeria’s defence industry through scientific and research-based technological initiatives.

While Senator Natasha advocated for 100% local production, President Bola Tinubu approved a $1 billion deal with India in September to modernize DICON’s facilities and increase local production of defence equipment to 40% by 2027.

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