By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
While commending the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai for his unflinching support, the Command Engineering Depot (CED), has assured of its unrelenting efforts to break new grounds in fabrication and production of critical military hardware for the Nigerian Army (NA).
The Commander, Command Engineering Depot, Kaduna, Major General S. S. Araoye gave the assurance in his welcome address during the Commissioning of COAS Intervention Projects; A&C Vehicles Assembly’ Plant, Smart Factory, Officers Transit Accomodation and Soldiers Accomodation at Command Engineering Depot on Thursday November 12, 2020.
“I, therefore wish to express our ultimate gratitude to the COAS for his immense support to CED as evident in the commissioning of these pro0jects and wellare of troops at CED in particular and NA in general.
“We assure the COAS of our unrelenting efforts to break new grounds in fabrication and production of critical military hardware for the NA,” he said.
He said that the formation of CED replaced the defunct Nigerian Army Central Workshop and de-established the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company.
“This was predicated on availabilityand rehabilitation of requisite engineering facilities that would
Support fabrication and production of basic military hardware,” he explained.
General Araoye further said that in line with the Federal Government directive on local production of critical mission cquipment, the COAS adopted uncommon approach which is local RDI to drive fabrication of indispensable hardware for the Armed Forces and other security agencies.
“The NA also outlined milestones to achieve its objective which include Sustained Infrastructural renewal, Collaboration with Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria and Buffalo Engineering and Technical Services Limited, Injection of modern technology such as Smart Factory (3 D Printer) and motivation of personnel through training and provision of befitting quarters,” he said.
The Commander said that the commissioning of the projects which are milestones, has transformed the CED to a strategic military industrial complex in support of DICON and other industrial outfits.
“Please permit me to state that the production of miltary plattorms is capital intensive.
“Accordingly, the former Presidentof the United States of America, Barack Obama avers, I Quote “If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas….Now is the time to reach a level of Research& Development not seen since the height of the Space Race” Unquote.
“The COAS therefore provided unmatched, unequalled and unique funding for Research, Development and Innovation which has resulted to fabrication of armoured fighting vehicles, Iight tactical armed vehicle, mine rollers, mobile borehole drilling machine and mobile bakery.
“These platforms had been-deployed to operattons.
“Additionally, the CED has retrofitted 7 x T72 tanks, refurbished several armoured fighting vehicles and soft skinned vehicles.
“All these platforms had been re-inducted into the NA’s operations.
“The Comd Engr Depot is therefore poised to drive TPD innovation that would impact positively on the capability of the NA in the attainment of the COAS’ vision which is to have a professional and responsive NA in the discharge of its constitutional roles.
“I also wish to acknowledge the presence of DG DICON, MD BETSL, Comd 41 Engrs Bde and directors of the company Engr Adedayo CEO LWT imaps, other consultants Engr Terfa and Engr Ojo for their immense cotributions to indigenization of production of military platforms.
“Finally, I would like to thank our distinguished guests (especially our retired senior officers) for their interest and support.
“I wish to specifically welcome our Special Guest of Honour, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, (who is ably represented by the Commandant Nigerian Defence Academy, Maj Gen Jamil Sarham) for finding time out of his tight schedule to commission our projects Sir, we are delighted to have you in our midst.
“Your presence is not only a clear manifestation of your commitmentto enhancing industrial base in Nigeria since your assumption of leadership but also shows your profound support for Research Development and Innovation (RDIJ) to boost operational capability in the Nigerian Army, other 2 Services as well as security agencies through local production of defence logistics,” he said.