The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) would soon take delivery of 19 additional aircraft, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, made the disclosure on Tuesday at a budget defence session.
Air Marshal Abubakar said once the aircraft were on the ground it would help the country in its fight
against insurgency in the North-East.
He said: “We are expecting 3 J-17 fighters from Pakistan, 12 super Tucano United States, one M-171 and 3 special-mission aircraft from NIMASA. We are talking of about 19 additional aircraft.”
The Chief of Air Staff who further disclosed that a hanger had been relocated to Maiduguri to support aircraft maintenance added that about 200 personnel were receiving training in nine different countries.
“We are expecting that these pilots would soon join their colleagues in the fight against insecurity.”
He expressed delight that the series of training have greatly improved the efficiency of the NAF in a covert operation.
A member of the committee and Senator representing Niger East, Senator Sani Musa tasked the Federal Government to increase budgetary provision aimed at training, research and development in the military as he dismissed N1billion as meagre.
The chairman of the Committee, Senator Bala Ibn N’Allah, who commended the NAF efforts to counter insurgents said the panel would be willing to visit the North East for on-the-spot assessment of the region.
He said: “The committee is willing and ready for two on-the-spot visits to the theatre (of terrorism) maybe Maiduguri and elsewhere so that we can register formally our appreciation to the efforts of the Air Force to the challenges of insecurity.
“By this, we will be able to demonstrate that there are different ways to give our lives as far as protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
“There is no greater service one can render to one’s country than sacrificing one’s life to the peace and order, as well as protection of the territorial integrity of the country. We deeply appreciate the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force.”
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