Have you ever heard of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria? This article provides you with information on their history, activities, roles and responsibilities.
Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) is run by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and operated by the Nigerian Armed Forces. Its sole responsibility is the production of defense equipment and civilian products.
Establishment of DICON
The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) was established by law in 1964. After this, a West German manufacturing firm called Fritz Werner was contracted the job of providing technical expertise and setting up the Ordnance Factory of the Corporation in Kaduna.
Hence, the first technical partner of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) was Fritz Werner of Western Germany. Fritz Werner designed and built the first DICON structure, Kaduna Ordnance Factories in 1964.
The factories were built with the following production capacities:
- 5000 units of BM 59 Rifles per annum,
- 18,000 units of SMG 12 per annum,
- 12,000,000 rounds of 7.62mm x 51 per annum and
- 4,000,000 rounds of 9mm x 19 per annum.
The evolution of DICON
The Nigerian Civil War started in 1967 and ended in 1970. The civil war warranted that the production rates mentioned above be multiplied. The factory was able to make a significant contribution towards the war effort.
After the war in 1970, the once vibrant lucrative arms market for DICON ended. In order to remain in business, DICON decided to use its already equipped factories to produce civilian products such as rural water supply equipment, industrial spare parts and furniture. These items were produced for sale to the public.
Divisions of DICON
DICON Ordnance Factories Complex is located in Kakuri, Kaduna South. This is the production nerve centre of the corporation. The Ordnance is comprised of ORDFAC’s A, B, C & D; a tools workshop, training school and other support services. The factories are currently headed by an air commodore from the Nigerian Air Force, under the supervision of the Director-General of DICON.
DICON has achieved many unprecedented feats in the field of engineering and manufacturing. Some of these include:
Prototype medium-range weapons: In 2004, DICON successfully produced prototype medium-range weapons. The corporation has locally produced an assault rifle similar to AK 47 and still has a new production line for the rifle.
Increased production capabilities: DICON has also enhanced its production capabilities in other areas such as local production of ceremonial swords which used to be imported.
Army field kitchen: The Corporation has also successfully completed the production of Army Field Kitchen. It is phenomenal because the project was undertaken using 100% local content. The Nigerian Army placed an order for the manufacture of 10 field kitchens which were produced by the corporation and in turn inspected by a team led by the Chief of Defence, Research and Development. The corporation has the capacity to sustain production with little or no external inputs.
Current Activities of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria
New production line: DICON has successfully established a new production line for the production of rifles that is 7.62mm x 39 ammunition. This is the preferred ammunition by the Security Services. The corporation currently plans on developing and mass-producing a Nigerian version of AK47,
During the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, DICON produced items such as needed ventilators, face shields, face masks and hand sanitizers
The 81mm Mortar and RPG7 were developed by DICON using local raw materials. Prototypes were produced and successfully tested. More prototypes of these weapons are being contracted for some Research & Development work to Universities, companies and individuals.
There are other projects have been planned and are waiting funding and execution.
Special Vehicles Plant (SVP) Project
On 22nd January 1979 the Federal Government of Nigeria signed a contract with Steyr Daimler Puch AG (Defence Division) of Austria. The agreement was for the construction of factory building in Bauchi which will contain all utilities, roads, rails and furniture for the production of Armored Personnel carriers (APC).
Although the Special Vehicles Plant buildings are currently being utilized by the Nigerian Army for the maintenance and rehabilitation of Armored vehicles, it is hoped that the factory would be handed over to DICON once the factory is completed.
Products of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria
Products by DICON can be classified under civilian and military products. Check out the list below:
Single barrel shotgun
12 mm bore cartridges
Cast iron machine parts
Raw water impeller
Raw water impeller
Gold plated coat of arms
Nigerian rifle 1 model 7.62mm 1 7.62
Obj-006 compared wth ak-47
Sub machine gun – pms 12
Nigerian pistol 1 (np1)
Rocket propelled grenade launcher (rpg)
General purpose machine gun (gpmg)
M36 hand grenade
7.62mm x 51 soft core (ball) cartridge
7.62mm x 51 blank bulleted cartridge
9mm blank star
9mm x 19 parabellum cartridge
Dicon mobile solar power generator (dmspg 002/16)
Dicon field kitchen
Bmg tri- pod
Rebranding of DICON
According to the corporation, the rebranding of DICON can be traced to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. President Buhari directed the Ministry of Defence to put together a proposal for the establishment of a Military-Industrial Complex. This was due to the need of production of weapons and other equipment for the Nigerian Armed Forces and also reduce reliance on foreign aids and suppliers.
The current Director-General of DICON is Major General Victor Okwudili Ezugwu. He is a member of 37th Regular Course, commissioned into the Infantry Corps. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. He also has a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.). He is a respected senior officer has attended several courses in the course of his career. He has made promises to drive the corporation for optimal performance during his tenure.