THE Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Tuesday, said its planes consumed an average of 1.9 million litres of aviation fuel each month, to fight and prosecute insurgency in the North-East.
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the NAF logistics seminar held in Lagos.
The seminar was tagged: “Repositioning NAF logistics for Efficient Employment of Air Power in response to Contemporary National Security Imperatives.”
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Defence, General Muhammad Dan-Ali, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Danjuma Sheni.
Also present was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Major-General Isidore Edet; Flag Officers Commanding (FOCs) Western Naval and Logistics Commands, Rear Admiral Fergusson Bobai and Beegroy Ibe-Enwo, respectively.
Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) Logistics and Tactical Commands, Air Vice Marshal Sani Ahmed and Air Marshal Muhammad Mohammed, were also present at the ceremony.
According to the CAS, the NAF had managed to continue its operations across the country, despite the scarcity of aviation fuel, because it was determined to ensure that no Nigerian territory was under siege.
“To support air operations in the North-East, the NAF must put an excellent plan that will ensure availability of aviation fuel in the operational area, whether the product is locally available or not.
“The service consumed an average of 1.9 million litres of aviation fuel monthly. The main fighter air plane we use consumes 2,500 litres/hour and we fly at least two air planes at a time.
“At that consumption rate, the two consume 5,000 litres every hour and we run two missions.So, we are talking of about 10,000 litres just for one aircraft time.
“We have so many other airplanes like the Alpha jets which consume 2,400 litres/hour. They also fly in formation and that means about 4,800 litres. There are other air planes that fly on a daily basis.
“Our desire is to ensure no territory of Nigeria is under any threat. To achieve that, we must have sound logistics strategy to ensure that materials and spare parts are available when required.
“Our logisticians, therefore, must work assiduously to ensure the product is available for operation. In a war situation, no excuse is acceptable,” he said.
Abubakar said the service consistently sought ways of standardising its logistics procedures and operations, in line with current global best practices.
According to him, the seminar was apt, considering the current security situation in the country which requires discipline and detailed planning.
“The sustained air operations have granted a greater latitude to the ground troops to rescue additional hostages mostly women and children who were abducted by the insurgents,” he said, adding that “Boko Haram’s will to fight has been seriously downgraded.