The Senate, Friday, decries the poor budgetary provisions for the Defence Industrial Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) in the 2022 budget proposal currently before the National Assembly.
The Senate Committee on Defence, expressed rage over what it described as a paltry sum of N2.1 billion allocated to DICON for the production of necessary military weapons for the Nigeria Army in the 2022 fiscal year, when the agency came to the National Assembly for its budget defence.
Senator Aliyu Wamakko Magatakada, who is the Chairman of the Committee, alongside other members of the Committee, vehemently kicked against the poor allocation and insisted that it must be improved upon if the agency must deliver on its statutory mandate.
The Director-General of the Defence Industrial Corporations of Nigeria, Major General Hassan Fafida, in his presentation, told the lawmakers that a total of N2.1 billion was allocated for capital expenditure in 2022.
He observed that this was short of N300 million from N2.4 billion capital expenditure allocated for DICON in 2021.
Major Gen. Tafida also urged the Committee to increase the overhead proposed for his agency as N250 million proposed would be grossly inadequate.
The Committee, one after another, spoke against what they perceived as the government’s lip service in the industrial revolution of production of military equipment in the country.
Senator Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South), in his contribution, said: “It is unfortunate that DICON is reduced to a company that produces mere bullets when other countries that we started together like Brazil have moved on and are now producing aircrafts for their military.”
He lamented that Nigeria was not ready for industrial revolution as far as production of military equipment was concerned.
In his contribution, Senator Elisha Abbo (APC, Adamawa), however, said: “There is nowhere in the world where the government produces military weapons but in advanced countries, the government partners with private companies to produce weapons and later buy from them.”