President Bola Tinubu has given his assent to the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Bill, 2023, ushering in a new era for the nation’s defence landscape. The bill, sponsored by Babajimi Benson, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, replaces the previous Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Act, aiming to modernize and fortify the country’s defence capabilities.
The newly enacted legislation grants enhanced authority to the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, enabling it to operate, maintain, and oversee subsidiaries and ordnance factories. This includes the manufacturing, storage, and disposal of ordnance and related materials, providing a robust framework for the nation’s defence infrastructure.
A notable addition to the bill is the establishment of the Defence Industry Technology, Research, and Development Institute. This institute is designed to cultivate a sophisticated scientific and research-based technological foundation for Nigeria’s defence industry. By leveraging collaborative, multi-disciplinary research from various military research institutes, the aim is to drive innovation, commercialization, and the development of cutting-edge military technology within the country.
The Act goes beyond restructuring the Defence Industries Corporation; it introduces a comprehensive regulatory framework governing the manufacturing, distribution, storage, and disposal of defence articles in Nigeria. Furthermore, the legislation incentivizes the creation of a nuanced financing architecture, encouraging private capital to play a pivotal role in research, development, and production within the defence sector. This transparent and predictable approach aims to propel Nigeria towards self-sufficiency in defence capabilities.
President Tinubu’s approval of this landmark bill signifies a pivotal step in repositioning Nigeria’s defence industries, fostering innovation, and bolstering the nation’s security infrastructure for the challenges ahead.