Protecting the Protectors: Unilorin, Nigerian Army Sign MoU

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The University of Ilorin and the Nigeria Army have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support research development of the ballistic composites and promotion of the local content development.

The MoU which was initiated between the Nigerian Army System Development Centre (NASDC) Lagos and the Laboratory-to-Product (LABTOP) centre of Unilorin is expected to enhance and promote a mutual framework within which strategies and specific action can be undertaken to promote Systems and Communication Development within the perspective of the Nigerian Army.

The MoU which was signed at the Army Headquarters Conference Room, Abuja last Wednesday, 1st July, 2020 will promote Exchange of Personnel, Community Service, and Research between Unilorin and the Nigerian Army through the establishment of a framework for increased cooperation in staff training and research collaboration under technical specifications for the development of the Multi-layered Armour Composite, Systems Development, Communications, ballistic wares, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Chemical and Biological Warfare as well as material engineering and social science.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai reprensented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Army, Lt. Gen. L.O. Adeosun, in his welcome address, described the ceremony as another milestone in the efforts towards developing indigenous capacity for the production of the much needed military hardware and equipment.

Buratai said the Nigerian Military had faced challenges over the years in the procurement of military hardware in addressing the myriad of security challenges bedeveling the country. He added that due to apathy by some western nations, most of the hardware’s could not be sourced rather the military had to look inwards. “The military had to look inwards to develop capacity for the manufacture of these hardware and equipment.

“As part of this efforts, the Nigeria Army established several outfits among whom was the Command Engineering Deport which in partnership with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, DICON, has gone into development and manufacture of some of these Military Hardware and Equipment”. “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding today is another boost to our collective efforts towards the development of the indigenous capacity for the production of these very critical Military Hardware and Equipment”.

While giving the brief remarks on the MoU, the Director, Nigerian Army System Development and Centre, Brigadier General E.O. Sosan said the partnership between the Nigerian Army, Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and the University of Ilorin started on 16th April, 2018 when the University of Ilorin was invited to make a brief presentation at the Nigeria Army Research and Innovation Summit in Abuja. A follow up to the presentation was the practical demonstration of ballistic test at the Nigerian Army Vehicle Plant in 10th October, 2018 in Bauchi.

” It was during one of our series of meetings that we discovered that the University has more than what we are actually asking for, that they have other materials that are of the military interest which would aid our Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnection Systems in the Nigerian Army. Hence, both sides decided to seal the partnership with a resolve to having a Memorandum of Understanding”. Brigadier Sosan added that “the MoU was carefully written to reduce the nation’s dependent on foreign military equipment and thereby save foreign exchange for the country”.

The signing of the MoU was done by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai reprensented by the Chief of Policy & Plans, Army, Lt. Gen. L.O. Adeosun, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Sulyman AbdulKareem, the Director General, Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria, Major General V. O. Ezeoku. Witnesses to the signing are the Director, NASDC, Brigadier General E.O. Ososan; the Registrar, University of Ilorin, Dr. Fola Olowoleni and Mrs K.A. Bello of DICON. Others are the Ag. Director, Legal Service, Nigerian Army; and the Ag. Director, Legal Unit, Unilorin, Mrs R.R. Olorukooba.

Giving his remarks shortly after the signing of the MoU, the consumate researcher and thorough bred academic, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman AbdulKareem recanted his early days research for the Defence Industry and the recent efforts that have gone into the ballistic composites to enhance the status of the military.

He, therefore, called for the total cooperation and professionalism of the Nigerian Army to enjoy the intellectual investment in the Memorandum of Understanding.

“If we are able to have the wherewithal of the Army and the brains and the contributions of those that are going to be working with you coming from the campus… I’ll be glad to give you materials that you can say that it is not better anywhere than here in Nigeria”.

Prof. AbdulKareem also said that other scientists in the University are ready to work to improve on the status of the military to an enviable one.

He thanked the Laboratory-to-Product Unit of the University for their effort in midwifing the MoU from April 2018, when the summit was attended and presentation made by the duo of Dr. M. F. Akorede and Dr. AG Adeniyi , through the MoU draft process to the eventual signing stage. Prof. AbdulKareem also thanked the Nigerian Army for making the epoch event a reality.

The Vice-Chancellor was accompanied to the Army Headquarters by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Technology and Innovation, Prof. M.O. Buhari; the Registrar, Dr. Fola Olowoleni; the Ag. Director, Legal Unit, Mrs R.R. Olorukooba; the Research Associate to the Vice-Chancellor on ballistic products development, Dr. A.G. Adeniyi of the Chemical Engineering Department; and the Principal Protocol Officer to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Segun Alabi.#

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