By Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), as part of its commitment to reposition the NAF into a highly professional force for effective service delivery, today, 25 May 2018, commissioned the Headquarters Complex and residential quarters for the Commandant, officers and airmen/airwomen of the NAF Institute of Safety (NAFIS) in Rigachikun Area of Kaduna.
Also commissioned today were 2 x blocks of students’ hostels, 11 boreholes, a water station integrated with 300,000 litres ground tank and 100,000 litres overhead tank, auxiliary 6 x 3,000 litres reservoirs, 1.1 km asphalted road and over 2.2km drainage system. NAFIS was established to provide safety training and education to NAF personnel and students of other nationalities and international aviation organizations.
With today’s commissioning, NAFIS now has a befitting permanent location and is set to properly focus on the conduct of a more comprehensive and inclusive safety training for NAF personnel, sister Services, other security Services, ministries, departments and agencies of the 3 tiers of government as well as non-governmental organizations, within and outside Nigeria.
While commissioning the new facilities, the Guest of Honour and former Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), retired Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Audu-Bida, stated that the decision of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to embark on such a massive project attests to his infrastructural development drive across the NAF.
He therefore commended the NAF leadership for being able to execute projects nationwide while still keeping its aircraft flying.
He further stated that the efforts of the CAS in creating a conducive environment for the conduct of safety courses at NAFIS is in tandem with the policy directive of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, to ensure that members of the armed forces are well trained.
He recalled that, in the past, NAF officers were usually sent overseas to attend safety courses at huge costs to the nation. He therefore praised the NAF leadership for ensuring the full establishment of NAFIS, as the nation stood to gain a lot from foreign exchange savings while still adequately providing safety training.
In his remarks, the CAS stated that the establishment of the NAFIS has brought security closer to the residents of Rigachikun and its environs while also creating employment opportunities for the locals.
According to Air Marshal Abubakar, the commissioning was made possible by the immense support the NAF has been enjoying from the Federal Government. The CAS therefore, expressed the profound gratitude of the NAF to President Buhari and reminded personnel to justify the enormous resources being expended on the Service.
According to him, “In particular, you have a responsibility to ensure adequate and sustained maintenance of the various infrastructure in all our barracks. As a Service, we must strive to meet the expectations of the country at this time of insecurity by protecting the citizenry and our critical assets as well as bringing succour to the despaired as we discharge our constitutional responsibilities to the nation”.
In his welcome address, the Commandant of the Institute, Air Commodore Edward Adedokun, recalled the myriad of challenges that had militated against the actualization of the Institutes objectives noting that there has been a great departure from the stagnated posture of the Institute since the present leadership of the NAF came on board almost 3 years ago.
The flagship course of the Institute is the Flight Officers’ Safety Course for pilots and flight engineers. The Institute also runs Occupational Health and Safety Course for personnel from various disciplines including administrators, intelligence operators, police, technicians, finance specialists, Works personnel and several others.