By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General T.Y. Buratai has said that vehicles Produced by the Command Engineering Depot of the Nigerian Army has increased the military’s capabilities of defeating Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists.
Buratai expressed this, 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 am highly delighted to inform our auspicious guests that 8 units of EZUGWU had been inducted into Operation LAFIYA DOLE and Operation SAHEL SANITY.
“The vehicles have significantly improved our capability to defeat our common adversary, Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province,” he said.
Buratai, represented by the Commandant Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Major General Jamil Sarham said that gives me the commissioning ceremony of the Smart Factory (SF) also called Additive Manufacturing Technology, Vehicle Assembly shop and Officers/Soldiers accommodation at command Engineering depot (CED), Kaduna is a clear testament to unprecedented commitment of the Nigerian Army (NA) to building industrial capacity of CED to undertake in-depth Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) as well as to provide befitting accommodation for our personnel.
“Today, one of the greatest challenges facing the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies is an outright reliance on importation of defence logistics from allies.
” Accordingly, President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR posits that Nigerias dependence on other countries for critical military equipment is unacceptable, the country must evolve viable mechanism for near self-sufficiency in military equipment and logistics production.
“The NA therefore initiated collaboration among CED, Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and Buffalo Engineering and Technical Services Limited (BETSL) to produce locally made EZUGWU Mine Resistant Ambush Protected which was unveiled by the President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on 3 Dec 19,” he said.
The COAS said that additional, defence logistic requirements produced through this collaboration include Light Armoured Tactical Vehicle, Special Patrol Vehicle, Mobile Field Bakery and Mobile Borehole Drilling Machine among others.
“Succinctly, these platforms are aiding the NA to perform its constitutional roles across all spectra of warfare such as the ongoing Counterinsurgency (COIN) operations in the North East and other operations.
“Additionally, the NA learnt a major battle winning concepts from the current COIN operations which is the impact of RDI on warfare,” he stressed.
General Buratai said that the importance of RDI is aptly stressed by Henry Kissinger in his book titled, “World Order”
” The margin of military superiority of advanced countries over the developing countries has been incomparably larger than at any previous period in history”
He stressed that therefore, there is need to massively undertake blockbuster RDI to breach this gap through injection of modern technology such as Additive Manufacturing Technology (otherwise called Smart Factory) to produce cutting edge components for hardware and subsequently transforming our country to become a net exporter of military hardware in the near future.
“The SF is an evolving technology which is revolutionising RDI in industrial sector worldwide. In this regard, the NA invested in SF to enable CED, DICON and BETSL to embark on RDI to produce high precision parts for weaponry, facilitate tooling and prototyping of platforms.
“It is also useful for production of lighter and stronger composite materials for medical and aerospace applications thereby supporting studies in military assets.
“Furthermore, commissioning of vehicles assembly shop, plant and engineering building and officers/soldiers accommodation would enhance conductive environment for higher productivity,” he emphasized.
He placed on record the Army’s profound gratitude to the President, Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his support, direction and encouragement of efforts at combating insecurity in the country and providing funds to support RDI in the NA.
“I also wish to commend the Director General DICON, Commander CED, Commander 41 Engr Brigade and General Manager BETSL for their supervision leading to the timely completion of all the projects.
“Equally, I want to appreciate Messrs LWG headed by Engineer Adedayo for contributing to technological growth of the NA in record time I must also thank all our guests that have come to share in the joy of this commissioning ceremony.
“Finally, I urge the CED, DICON and BETSL to ensure judicious use of this rare assets to achieve desired result and maintain the facility properly,” he urged.