By Dayo Adesulu
Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has lauded the potential of Nigeria in becoming the world’s defence systems solution hub following her capacity to produce high-grade security merchandise locally.
Idris made the remark during a tour of ProForce Armour and Ammunitions Production Facility, a defence systems and gadgets provider, on Friday in Ode-Remo, Ogun.
According to him, the facility provides armoured personnel carriers, ammunitions, ballistic helmets, bullet-proof vests, armoured cash-in-transit and personal protection vehicles.
Idris who lauded the level of expertise, added that the nation’s poise for rapid development could only materialise through adequate support for local manufacturing.
He said that Nigeria could save a lot in terms of foreign exchange with internally purchased merchandise in equipping the nation’s security outfits in their fight against crime.
His words: “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.
Mr. Ibrahim Idris beaming with smiles following his confirmation as the substantive IGP by the Council of State on Wednesday, September 7, 2016.
“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 ability to address security issues and create employment. ”
Meanwhile, the Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Bimbo Ashiru said that it was important for government to always create an environment for local manufacturing to thrive.
According to him, the best way of spreading wealth and reducing social strife was by creating jobs through local content development.
He, 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 economy turnaround that we envisage.
“We are a country endowed with a 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. ”
In his response, Mr Adetokunbo Ogundeyin, ProForce Managing Director thanked the IGP for the visit and said 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.