The Federal Government has pledged to support all meaningful civil-military research programmes to make the Nigerian Armed Forces self-reliant.
The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, made the promise at the occasion of the Nigerian Air Force Research and Development Competition/Exhibition for 2019 held on Saturday at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
The exhibition was organised by the Nigerian Air Force as parts of programmes to mark its 55th anniversary.
Osinbajo in making the promise said that it was in line with the current administration’s policy of promoting local content.
Osinbajo represented by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Federal Government, commended the NAF for its various recent initiatives.
He said: “It has become more important than ever before that we really look inwards and gradually wean ourselves of over-dependence on foreign technology and become more innovative in the use of local resources.”
He called on all stakeholders to embark on fruitful collaborations and joint partnerships to fund more research and development activities in the country.
Osinbajo also appealed to other public and private organisations to hold such exhibitions to promote research and development efforts.
He said: “In line with our policy to promote local content, I will like to assure you that this administration shall encourage and support all meaningful civil-military research programmes towards making our Armed Forces more self-reliant.”
He expressed happiness on the collaboration between the Nigerian Air Force and other members of the Armed Forces and other organisations.
He said: “I am highly pleased to note the collaboration between the Nigerian Air Force, other members of the Armed Forces, our universities and the other bodies participating in this exhibition.
“I strongly believe that if we can successfully harness our efforts as a nation, there is no challenge that we cannot surmount.”
He commended the NAF at its efforts on research development in the area of military aviation.
He said: “It is in view of the foregoing that I want to specially commend the Nigerian Air Force for the efforts being made at harnessing the available research and development potentials, especially in the military aviation sector.
“I have been a keen admirer of the Nigerian Air Force, having been following the great strides it has been attaining as a service.
“I recollect that in February 2018, the Nigerian Air Force was able to induct into the service an indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
“I am equally aware of the efforts in collaboration with other partners to produce the first ever made in Nigeria aircraft at the Air Force Research and Development Centre in Kaduna.
“I also took particular interest in the recent rehabilitation of the machine tools workshops at Makurdi and Ikeja by the Nigerian Air Force, in collaboration with Oshogbo Machine Tools and the University of Maiduguri.
“Without any doubts, such research and development initiatives have been of use to the Service as well as to the Nation.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NAF exhibited some locally- made equipment at the event.