NCDMB, Nigerian Army to Partner on Local Content Development
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will support the Nigerian Army with it plans to increase the level of Nigerian Content in the manufacture and procurement of military hardware and accessories.
The Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote made the commitment when he delivered the keynote address at the Nigerian Army Research & Innovation Summit held in Abuja recently. He spoke on “Local Content Development in Nigeria’s Defence Sector- an imperative for National Development” and explained that Research and Development (R&D) is the key to sustainable Nigerian Content growth and development. Represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NCDMB, Mr. Daziba Patrick Obah, the Executive Secretary stated that for R&D to succeed and yield return on investment, it requires the collaboration of various stakeholders and a long gestation period.
According to him, the Board’s R&D Strategy is supported by the Research and Development Guidelines and Ministerial Regulation, adding that NCDMB had established Research Centres of Excellence at five universities across the country, including the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS) in the University of Port Harcourt, UNIBEN Centre for Geoscience & Petroleum Engineering, Rivers University Centre for Marine Engineering among others. On strategies that would deepen the Army’s Nigerian Content credentials and contributions to the national economy, Obah canvassed adherence to the Presidential Executive Order 003, which mandates Support for Local Content in Public Procurement by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government, stressing that the implementation of Local Content should not be misconstrued as ‘Nigerianisation’, instead, the focus should be on ’in-country value addition.
There is also need for the Nigerian Army to incorporate Local Content requirements as a key condition for its procurement, particularly in Local assembly of armored cars, software development, assembly of equipment for intelligence gathering, production of uniforms, local production of bullet proof vests, building and maintenance of war ships in Nigerian ship yards and local production of booths and helmets. He also counselled the Army “to equip institutions like the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) as a Centre of Excellence for Research, establish partnership with select Nigerian higher institutions on areas of interest in research, link with relevant industry to progress research findings to the stages of deployment or commercialization where necessary and initiate specific projects for technology development, demonstration, piloting and deployment or commercialization.” The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Tukur Buratai opened the exhibition segment of the three-day summit and promised that the Nigerian Army will enhance its commitment to Research and Development as a strategy for improving the military’s capacity to contain the nation’s security challenges.
Some senior military officers and other resource persons spoke during the plenary and advised the Army hierarchy to adopt the Nigerian Content framework which had been successfully implemented by the NCDMB. Chairman of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria’s Local Content Group, (MANLOCG) and Managing Director of Metec West Africa Limited, Mr. Vassily Barberopoulos tasked the Army “to ask every big foreign company that has been enjoying its budget to come to Nigeria and partner with local companies.” Another important contribution was the need for the Army to adopt a particular type of rifle so that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) can set up local manufacturing lines for the weapon. The use of different brands and ranges of rifles by the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce as well as the Police and other paramilitary organisations has made local manufacture of rifles difficult, it was said.