- As part of activities to mark its 55th anniversary celebration, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Saturday, April 27, held an exhibition and lecture in Abuja.
- While the NAF Research and Development (R&D) competition/exhibition was held at the Eagle Square, the lecture was held at the NAF Conference Centre
- The topic of the lecture was “Air to Ground Integration in the Armed Forces of Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects”
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been commended for its efforts at harnessing the available research and development potentials, especially in the military aviation sector.
The commendation was made on Saturday, April 27 by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, during the NAF Research and Development (R&D) competition/exhibition held at the Eagle Square in Abuja as part of activities slated to commemorate the NAF 55th anniversary celebration.
He disclosed that the event was an indication that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) were aspiring to leave their footprints on the global stage, which, he said, was a very welcome development.
While assuring of the federal government's continued support to the AFN, the SGF stated that it was now more important than ever before to look inward with a view to gradually weaning the nation of over-dependence on foreign technology and becoming more innovative in the use of local resources.
He lauded the great strides attained in recent times by the NAF, especially the induction of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle nicknamed 'TSAIGUMI' as well as the efforts, in collaboration with other partners, to produce the first ever made in Nigeria aircraft at the Air Force Research and Development Center (AFRDC) in Kaduna.
He also applauded the recent rehabilitation of the Machine Tool Workshops at the NAF Base, Makurdi and 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot, Ikeja in collaboration with Oshogbo Machine Tools and the University of Maiduguri.
The SGF specially commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for his passion for R&D, noting that there was need for the public and private sectors to hold more of such exhibitions that would promote innovation.
He added that the present administration would continue to encourage and support all meaningful civil-military research programmes towards making the AFN more self-reliant.
In his address, the CAS disclosed that the NAF R&D Competition/Exhibition was organized to motivate innovators and research outfits to explore the possibilities of identifying areas of potential partnership with the NAF in order to strengthen Nigeria's technological base as a veritable tool for national development.
Bearing in mind the need for the NAF to be self reliant technologically, Air Marshal Abubakar revealed that the service placed emphasis on R&D as a means of building indigenous technological capacity.
He pointed out that the NAF strategy was in line with the focus of the Federal Government which prioritises the promotion of local content, homegrown technology and innovation as principal means of improving the nation's foreign exchange earnings.
The highlight of the R&D competition/exhibition was the inspection of project stands by the SGF and other dignitaries present at the occasion.
Six NAF commands and 9 institutions participated in the R&D competition/exhibition.
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On the same day, an anniversary lecture was held at the NAF Officers’ Mess and Suites, Kado, Abuja with the topic “Air to Ground Integration in the Armed Forces of Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects.”
The lecture, which was delivered by AVM Christian Chukwu (rtd), pooled the intellectual minds of experienced serving and retired senior officers from the Armed Forces, other security agencies and members of diplomatic corps to discuss ways of improving synergy between air and surface forces for more effective and efficient operations.
At the lecture, the CAS revealed that the British Military Assistant Training has assisted the NAF in the training of regiment personnel as well as over 2,000 special forces to enhance protection capabilities of the service.
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