Insecurity: Reps seek US assistance on timely delivery of $496m Tucano jets

The Chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Hon. Shehu Koko on Wednesday unveiled plans to engage United State Congress with the view to hastening the delivery of the $496 million paid for the procurement of Tucano jets.

Hon. Koko disclosed this at the inaugural meeting of the committee on Wednesday in Abuja, attended by the Nigerian Air Force top officials.

“We contacted the US Congress Committee on Air Force and I want to assure the Air Force that by January next year, we are going to engage the committee on our Super Tucanos.

“We are aware of the engagements and the money pumped into it, we have promised to do something about it,” he said.

The money paid for the procurement of the Tucanos was part of the total sum of $1 billion for which  President Muhammadu Buhari requested for the National Assembly’s approval in 2018.

Hon. Koko also commended the force for decorating the first female fighter jet pilot and a female helicopter after over 55 years of its existence.

In his remarks, Chief of Air Staff Air Vice Marshal AVM Sadique Abubakar on Wednesday said that the Nigerian Air Force NAF has successfully launched six different operation strategies to tackle insecurity and other forms of criminality in the different parts of the country.

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Speaking on the achievements of the agency, he said that it had successfully evacuated stranded Nigerians from crisis-prone areas in Cameroun and also have sent relief materials to victims of a similar crisis in Malawi, Gambia other African nations.

He further informed the lawmakers that NAF had expended 64,964,000 hours to tackle these security challenges adding that it expended 924,000 hours in the North-East region alone.

The NAF boss disclosed that the Agency was saddled with the responsibility of national security and was at a point grappling with a serious threat to national security by bandits and criminals in Nigeria.

He explained that in the last five years, the agency had done everything possible to protect Nigerian citizens and also protect the territorial integrity of nation against any for the form of aggression

According to the Air Chief, NAF launched six different operations to tackle insecurity particularly insurgency and banditry in the North-East state of Borno and some few other Northern States of the Federation

He listed the different operations as follows: Operation Lafia Dole, Safe Heaven, Thunder Strike, Hadarin Daji, Swift Response and Delta Safe.

The NAF boss commended the lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives for passing the Air Force Institute of Technology Establishment Bill into law saying that it would help in its operations as well as capacity building.

 

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