By Tordue Salem, Abbuja
The House of Representatives Committee on Airforce on Tuesday promised to raise the budget of the Nigeria Airforce, as the panel commended efforts of the Chief of Air Staff in the battle against terrorism in the country.
The lawmakers gave the commendation at the headquarters of the Nigeria Airforce in Abuja when the House Committee paid an oversight visit on the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal, Sadiq Abubakar.
The Committee led byRep. Shehu Koko (APC- Kebbi) expressed satisfaction with the airforce for doing so much in the areas of capacity building, weapon development and research, adding that it will do everything possible to give muzzle to the Airforce to enable it to succeed in fighting crime.
According to the chairman of the Committee, Mr Koko, “we are here on an assessment visit just to ascertain the level of work done by the force and to commend the Nigeria Airforce for judiciously utilizing the funds available to them. We have visited Borno, Makurdi, Kaduna etc and we have seen what you have done.
“Therefore, the Committee promise to give you all the muzzle that you need to make you succeed”.
Speaking, the Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia) who is also a member of the Committee corroborated the same position as the chairman as he expressed confidence in the ability of the Chief of Air Staff based on the committee’s assessment of some of its projects executed so far as observed during oversight in various States of the federation.
” I’m here today because I have been in the field, if I was not I would not say what I’m about to say. First and foremost, Nigerians might not see what you are doing but you have done a lot. We commend you for your capacity building. That is walking the talk. Some of your men that I had cause to interview personally, told me in confidence that there’s job satisfaction.
He continued: “Thanks for making sure that you have enough equipment. Though you might not be a hundred per cent you are doing very well. You have also anchored the research and development very well. Your civil-military collaboration is also commendable. And lastly, we in the House of Representatives commend you for training female pilots although we lost one of them and may her soul rest in peace”, Kalu acknowledged.
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff thanked members of the Committee for commending the efforts of the Airforce as he took time to explain the force’s achievements in the last five years.
Mr Abubakar also appealed to the Committee to consider increasing their funds to enable it to meet up with some certain obligations.
According to him: ” I thank you more sincerely for all your support. All that we have achieved is based on the support you have given us. However, I will want to appeal that when the commandant of Kaduna appears before your committee, please do not hesitate to assist the school because our school is lacking hostels.
Speaking on the area of capacity building and gender balance in the force, Abubakar revealed that the force has trained 7 female pilots while 14 females were still undergoing training, adding that a total of 118 pilots have been trained in the last five years.
He also disclosed that the airforce before now had just 3 aircraft but currently under him, the force could boast of 15 aircraft.
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