Nigerian Air Force signs MOU with 14 universities on capacity building
He said that there were many Phd holders in the Air Force “and rather than leaving them to be writing papers in the office, there is need to engage them in research and development projects
The Nigerian Air Force on Tuesday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding with 14 Nigerian universities and five research institutes on capacity building.
Some of the universities are University of Benin; University of Ibadan; University of Lagos; Covenant University, Ota; Federal University of Technology, Minna; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
The research institutes are the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, the National Space Development Research Agency and the Defence Industries Corporation.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, said that the MoU was in line with his vision, which is “to transform NAF into a self-reliant and highly professional fighting force”.
Badeh said that the transformation was through the application of innovative technology.
He said that there were many Phd holders in the Air Force “and rather than leaving them to be writing papers in the office, there is need to engage them in research and development projects.”
According to him, the military is the driver of the aviation sector all over the world and the Nigerian Air Force will not be an exception.
Badeh said: “As a nation, we should be able to start small because we cannot continue to depend on foreign companies for aircraft spare parts, as we have to look inward.
“This collaboration is to see what we can get from the academics things that we need but do not have.
“We can put heads together and do something for the country.
“No one nation builds an aircraft.
“What is important is where you assemble it after getting the spare parts.
“So we want to see if we can do our own here.”
On his part, AVM Sadiq Abubakar, the Chief of Standard and Evaluation of the NAF, said the Air Force was doing so much in the area of research and development.
Abubakar said that with the signing of the MoU, he believed that the Air Force could do more as they had the capacity to do what was required to move the service forward.
On his part, Air Commodore Isaac Odun-Ayo, the Director, Research and Development of the NAF, said that the plan for the collaboration started since November, 2012.
Odun-Ayo said the bedrock of any technological advancement was research and development, which entailed conducting investigations for producing new products and ideas.
“The NAF desires to leverage on the pool of competencies and facilities available in your institutions, hence this partnership through MoU,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the institutions, the Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University, Prof. John Obafunwa, commended NAF for coming up with the innovative idea.
Obafunwa said that the universities saw the partnership as a rare opportunity to move the Air Force, universities and the nation forward.
He said that the Air Force had a lot of academically-inclined officers and that the universities would work with them to ensure that the best was brought out from the partnership.