Abeokuta, March 3, 2017(TNE) : The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Friday visited the first indigenous armoured vehicle production facility in Ode-Remo, Ogun, where he said Nigeria was eminently qualified to lead in global defence systems.
Idris said during the tour of ProForce Armour and Ammunitions Production Facility, a defence systems and gadgets provider, that Nigeria could become the global defence systems solution hub following its capacity to produce high-grade security merchandise locally.
The facility provides armoured personnel carriers, ammunitions, ballistic helmets, bullet-proof vests, armoured cash-in-transit and personal protection vehicles.
”I have seen first-hand, what Nigerians can offer with the right support. Here, you can see local content development in practice.
“I think it’s a great achievement for us as a country when we start venturing into presumed impossible feats and turning them into possibilities.
“Technologically, Nigerians have the know-how and capacity to compete with the best when it comes to manufacturing.
“It’s an advantage to us when we see avenues such as these we can exploit to bridge the gap of development and unemployment.
“For the police, we will continue to support such ventures by exploring local content opportunities of improving the ability to address security issues and create employment,” Idris said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ogun, Mr Bimbo Ashiru, said government must create an environment for local industries to thrive.
Ashiru, however, urged manufacturers to focus more on backward integration through raw materials in-sourcing to improve the production value-chain by empowering local suppliers.
He said: “What has happened in Ode-Remo has put this place on the map in terms of capacity and wealth creation.
“However, for every import that we do, we are exporting jobs.
“ Therefore, in-sourcing for raw materials will further improve the competitive edge of the industry.
“By focusing on empowering more of the local suppliers, manufacturers can maximise returns for the economic turnaround that we envisage.
“We are a country endowed with wealth of mineral resources and as government we always encourage that Nigerians patronise made-in-Nigeria goods.
“The only way we can improve our value-chain and strengthen the economy is by looking inwards for economic solutions through research, innovation and enterprise.”
ProForce Managing Director, Mr Adetokunbo Ogundeyin, commended the police boss for the visit.
He said the company would continue to re-strategise to remain competitive and meet local demand.
Ogundeyin said: “The technology we have here is adaptable in that we produce to suit the peculiarity of the Nigerian terrain.
“ That has always been our cutting edge.
“In the case of raw materials, we have done a lot of backward technology and developed a steel-rolling mill in Ota, Ogun, where we produce steel from scrap metal.
“There is also a joint venture agreement in place with another glass manufacturer to start producing our own glass locally.
“By the time we produce our steel and glass, then we have achieved up to about 70 to 80 percent of our technology.”
Established in 2008 as the only private armoured vehicle manufacturer in Nigeria, the company specialises in production of armoured vehicles and personal protection.(TNE)