Nigerian Army produces home-made weapons
From Madu Onuorah,Abuja
IN addition to small arms and other ordinances which the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) is already producing, the firm has begun the manufacturing of medium calibre weapons.
Among the new weapons already produced by DICON are Simm Mortar and the Bazooka/Cricket-Propelled Grenades (RPG-Model 7). Next on the line to be produced is the field gun artillery weapons.
And to ensure that the new weapons enjoy the benefits of modern technology and conform to international standards, Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China towards the installation of the new lines of production.
Already, Chinese experts are in the country to finalise arrangements towards mass production of the weapons.
Also, the medium calibre weapons produced at the military firm's plant in Kaduna have been test-fired and are working perfectly.
Chairman of DICON and Chief Steward of Albarka Airline Plc, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), said that the production had already been approved by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Marwa said: "The Federal Government understands the need of DICON and approved the new development (lines of production) for this year's budget. The new lines of production will fully and effectively be ready in two to three years.
"In the area of production, I feel very fulfilled. We have now started producing weapons. We are breaking out of cocoon to higher calibre medium-range weapons".
Through its Research and Development Programme, DICON has produced its own Jimmy Soap, a device used in finishing rifles and other ammunition.
A 25-litre of the soap costs $5,000 in the international market.
Gen. Marwa also added that in the last three years, DICON had resumed the manufacturing of FM rifles, 7.2mm ammunition short guns and related cartridges.
He said that his greatest joy was that DICON had "corrected the major defect in sub-machine gun that has been defected since the early 70s". We have resumed production of pistols.
"The FM rifle used to have problem of heat generation. We also held meetings with Biafran scientists, including those who manufactured Ogbunigwe. We've had several meetings with them and they are offering their services to DICON".
According to Marwa, DICON has manufactured a stabiliser which is awaiting mass production just as it is also producing headframes for boreholes.**okay