Abuja, April 27, 2019 The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Saturday said Research and Development had proven to be the catalyst for technological and industrial advancement.
The exhibition was organised by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) as parts of programmes to mark its 55th anniversary.
” Globally, it is acknowledged that Research and Development has proven to be the catalyst for technological and industrial advancement.
” There is also a consensus among scholars that national development can best be enhanced through indigenous research and development efforts.
” Recognising these facts and realising that the effectiveness and sustainability of the Nigerian Air Force, in the long term, will be largely influenced by the growth of home-based technology, the Service has placed emphasis on research and development as means of building indigenous technological capacity.
” It is gratifying to note that our strategy fits into the focus of the Federal Government, which places emphasis in promoting local content, home-grown technology and innovation as principal means of improving the Nation’s foreign exchange earnings.
” In furtherance of our quest for technological advancement, the Air Force Research and Development Centre was established to conduct research into aerospace and armament needs of the Nigerian air force.”
The air chief said the centre was also tasked on coordinating existing research and development cells in all Nigerian air force units.
” Additionally, the NAF has partnered with and continued to nurture its relationships with selected Nigerian universities and research institutes with which it has signed various Memoranda of Understanding (MoU).
” All these are in consonance with my vision to repositioning the Nigerian air force into a Service that focuses on using local competencies to sustaining operations efficiency and effectiveness by promoting strategic partnerships with ministries, departments and agencies for enhanced research and development,” he said.
Abubakar noted that it was under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that in 2018, ” we inducted our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle nicknamed “TSAIGUMI” as part of our resolve to promoting innovation and enhance self-reliance.”
” I am proud to announce that the unmanned aerial vehicle, which was designed and developed by Nigerian Air Force Aerospace Engineers, was aimed at enhancing NAF’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities.
” This effort has helped the service to consolidating on the gains made and begin to look at other areas relating to the manufacture of hexacopter and aircraft ammunition, which will greatly enhance our efforts at combating some of the internal security challenges facing our nation, ” he said.
Abubakar said the exhibition was aimed at showcasing Nigerian air force’s efforts at promoting, enhancing and optimising indigenous innovations and technologies for national development.
According to him, the exhibition has been organised to motivate innovators and research outfits to exploring the possibility of identifying areas of potential partnership with the Nigerian air force.
”This is with a view to strengthening Nigeria’s technological base as a veritable tool for national development.
” In addition, the Nigerian air force is mindful of the fact that national technological development can only become a reality when there is collaboration between stakeholders in the research and development efforts.
” Accordingly, this event also serves as a forum for interaction with institutions and agencies towards achieving collaboration in research and development programmes, thereby extending the frontiers of knowledge,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some projects displayed at the event showcased some modest achievements of the Nigerian air force in research and development.
Some locally -made equipment were showcased by the six commands of the nigerian air force, the Nigerian Navy Naval Shipyard Limited also displayed some of its ship designs.