The Commandant Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Air Vice Marshal Cletus Udeagulu has reiterated the need for effective collaboration between AFIT and Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) especially in the area of Research and Development.
He made the call during a courtesy visit by the Director General Defence Industries Corporation on Nigeria, Maj Gen Victor Ezugwu and some of his management team AFIT at Air Force Base, Kaduna.
His words; “If we want to go solo, you will have solo results, but if we go in group we will have group result that will be highly impressive to well-meaning Nigerians and our nation will be better for it”
The Commandant who said he has earlier visited DICON on assumption of Office noted that he was aware of the endowment in the Defence Industry, stressing on the need to focus on the genuine issue of comparative advantage between the duo because there was urgent need to collaborate.
He disclosed that rocket propeller fabricated by AFIT Research and Development Center was recently test fired at Kaduna, based on the directive of Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar and that he would like it to be mass produced, hence the need for urgent collaboration with DICON.
“Most Defence Research and Development efforts end at prototype level, we would not want the current research efforts to go the same way because the end user must get the product before the production process could be said to be completed”.
The Commandant who commended the DG DICON, for the success stories currently emanating from DICON stated that the Defence Premier Industry has come of age and it was time to move to the next level.
“Am glad you are taking the bull by the horns to change the previous unimpressive narrative about DICON, “you are doing well, the world need to know what you are doing”
Earlier, the DG DICON Maj Gen Ezugwu said, AFIT had distinguished itself as the best among Defence Institutions established in Nigeria, stressing that there are empirical evidences of their research and development products to buttress that.
“And let me congratulate you for having your name appended on the first locally made MRAP APC in Nigeria. “You do not need to be an Engineer to make a mark, you have high capacity to deliver”.
The DG who said he was aware of an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DICON and AFIT before he assumed office, stressed the need to polish it and make it operational because there were lots of benefits for both parties.
He further disclosed that the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Buratai had magnanimously released fund to set up 3-D or smart factory at Command Engineering Deport (CED),
Rigachukun Kaduna to take care of tools and tooling needs in CED and DICON adding that the factory would be made available to AFIT when it becomes functional.
“We need institutions in Nigeria to help us solve our problems instead of looking unto foreign partners only”.
The DG also advocated for technical team exchange who are vast in their discipline between AFIT and DICON for quick and heart warming result in research and development as well as the fabrication of military products.
He lauded the efforts of the Commandant for piloting the affairs of AFIT well to the benefit of the nation because large chunk of foreign reserves are being preserve because of local fabrications in AFIT.