By OKEOGHENE AKUBUIKE
ABUJA- The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) says Nigeria will begin local production of uniforms for its military and paramilitary personnel from January 2023.
The commission said in a statement signed by its Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Manji Yarling, on Monday in Abuja, that the production of the uniforms would be a joint venture project.
The commission said that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) between Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and Sur Corporate Wear, would lead to the creation of 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 organisations,” it said.
The Acting Director-General of ICRC, Micheal Ohiani, in a meeting, charged all stakeholders in the project to resolve all issues hindering the completion of the factory and report to the commission in one week.
Also, Dr Jobson Ewalefoh, Director, Contract Compliance Department, ICRC, during the rescheduled meeting, urged all stakeholders to ensure that the project was completed within the stipulated time frame.
Ewalefoh said that the project was important to the nation as it would curb capital flight and create no fewer than 920 jobs.
He said that the project would also be a thing of pride for the nation to produce its uniforms.
The director said that as the project progressed, the DICON Sur joint venture woud be 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 their own military kits and I know DICON can do it if they have the right support,” he said.
Ewalefoh assured all stakeholders that ICRC would liaise with all the relevant government agencies to fast-track the ongoing process of securing approval for off-takers when production would begin in January.
He said that going forward, ICRC through its Contract Compliance Department, would make the DICON Sur project a priority and monitor its progress until completed.
The director pledged that the commission would continue to intervene to make PPP projects operate smoothly.
The Managing Director, Sur Corporate Wear Nig. Ltd., Burhan Karabulut commended the management of ICRC for intervening and ensuring that the project was hitch-free.
Karabulut also commended the investors for agreeing to release funds for the completion of the project, following the intervention of ICRC and the meeting of stakeholders that ensued.
He said that the company had so far taken the project to 68 per cent completion, adding that the remaining funds for the project would be released soon to meet the completion goal.
“If the work resumes in July, it is assumed that we can start commissioning as of January 2023; but this January, the commissioning will not be 100 per cent production,” he said.
Karabulut, however, said that the designs for the uniforms had yet to be approved, adding that the company could not source its raw materials for production.
He said that without the approval, the production could not begin. (NAN)
By OKEOGHENE AKUBUIKE