Kaduna, Nigeria – Nigerian leader, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday pledged to institute a set of reforms aimed at creating an economically prosperous, politically stable, socially just and truly democratic Nigeria where security of lives and property is guaranteed.
Dr. Jonathan made the pledge in a message he sent to the first ever Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Air Expo in north central Kaduna.
Specifically, the President said, part of the reforms was aimed at delivering the nation from over-dependence on oil and gas with a view to leveraging Nigeria’s ‘barely tapped agricultural, mineral and human resources’.
President Jonathan also said the reforms would also create a conducive atmosphere where the investments of multi-nationals were safe and foreign nationals as well as indigenes free to go about their businesses.
The president was represented at the show by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike.
Speaking at the show, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, traced the ongoing efforts towards in-country reactivation, modernisation and maintenance of NAF aircraft.
They include the partnership between NAF’s AETSL and Italian firm, Alenia Aeronautica in reactivating the G-222 medium lift aircraft on completion of the purpose-built hangar in Ilorin; service and maintenance facility at the Ikeja Air Force hangar by AugustaWestland for all Augusta helicopters in the West African sub-region; maintenance facility to be manned by NAF and BSVT of Belarus in Port Harcourt for the Belarus supplied Mi-35P series of military helicopters, NAF personnel carrying out Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) on Dornier 228 and the ABT-18 and the periodic maintenance of the Alpha jets, less engines and other ancillary equipment in Kainji, Niger State.
He reiterated that the aim of the Air Show was to ‘assemble enough industry players to make West Africa’s aviation industry more vibrant as it rises to the challenge of the 21st century.’
Highlight of the four-day event, also attended by Chiefs of Air Staff and representatives of over 11 countries, would be the commissioning of the newly-acquired Chinese built F-7NI fighter jets, the ATR 42 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and the Augusta 109 light utility/attack helicopters, their static and aerial displays at the grounds of the Training Command, NAF Kaduna.
Holding at the grounds of the Training Command of the Nigerian Air Force, Kaduna , the Air Expo 2010 is a sub-regional forum which includes aerial display, exhibition by local and foreign industries, seminars and ceremonial parades.
The air show has as its theme: “Enhancing Nigerian Air Force Capability through Private Sector Partnership.”
Kaduna – Pana 13/05/2010