Richard Ginika Izuora
The Nigerian Airforce has disclosed that Nigeria is expecting the delivery of 19 aircraft from the United States.
Chief of Airforce Staff, Marshal Sadique Abubakar made the disclosure at the budget defence hearing before Senate committee on Airforce on Tuesday, November 10.
He said that the aircraft will be deployed to fighting insurgents in the Northeast.
“We are expecting 3 J-17 fighters from Pakistan; 12 super Tucano United States; one M-171; and three special-mission aircraft from NIMASA. We are talking of about 19 additional aircrafts”,Abubakar said.
According to him, 119 pilots have received training from Liberia Air Force in support of the West African military; and about 200 personnel were undergoing training in nine different countries.
“We are expecting that these pilots would soon join their colleagues in the fight against insecurity,” he said.
He noted that the series of training will improve the efficiency of the Nigerian Air Force during its covert operations.
A member of the committee, Senator Sani Musa lamented that N1 billion budgeted for training, research, and development is inconsequential.
He urged the Executive to rededicate more resources and deploy technology to fight insurgency.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Bala Ibn N’Allah, informed that the panel will visit the North East for an on-the-spot assessment of the region and to commend the security agents for their efforts in fighting insurgency.
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.”