The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, says Nigeria has the potential to become the world’s defence systems solution hub given its capacity to produce high-grade security merchandise locally.
Idris said this on Friday during a tour of ProForce Armour and Ammunitions Production Facility, a defence systems and gadgets provider in Ode-Remo, Ogun.
Newsverge reports that the facility produces armoured personnel carriers, ammunitions, ballistic helmets, bullet-proof vests, armoured cash-in-transit and personal protection vehicles.
The IGP, who was impressed with the level of expertise at the facility, said the nation’s desire for rapid development could only materialise through adequate support to local manufacturers.
According to him, Nigeria could save a lot of foreign exchange with the purchase of merchandise locally to equip the nation’s security outfits in their fight against crime.
“To be honest with you, 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 force’s ability to address security issues and create employment,” Idris said.
Similarly, the Ogun Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Bimbo Ashiru, said it was important for government to always create an environment for local manufacturing to thrive.
He added that the best way of spreading wealth and reducing social strife was by creating jobs through local content development.
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.
“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 economy 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,” Ashiru said.
In his response, ProForce Managing Director, Mr Adetokunbo Ogundeyin, thanked the IGP for the visit, saying the company would continue to restrategise to remain competitive and meet local demand.
“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,” Ogundeyin said.
ProForce was established in 2008 and prides itself as the only private armoured vehicle manufacturer in Nigeria specialising in armoured vehicles and personal protection.
As a total defence solution provider, the company focuses on the delivery of confidence in protective mobility.