NAF Engineers Construct Airforce Hostel, Accomodation in Uyo, Calabar
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on 9 January 2018, commissioned a newly built block of boys’ hostel at Air Force Comprehensive School (AFCS) Uyo. The befitting new hostel, which was designed and constructed by engineers of the NAF Directorate of Works, is dedicated for the comfort of SS3 students.
The new hostel is thus expected to be a source of motivation for the junior students to work hard to get to SS3 Class. In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the CAS commended the staff and students of AFCS Uyo for the exemplary and impressive record they had shown over the years in the Senior Secondary School Examination (SSSE) results as well as other external examinations and competitions.
Air Marshal Abubakar also recognized that the efforts of the NAF in improving the quality of education in all its schools could not have been possible without the unflinching support of President Muhammadu Buhari. “We are immensely grateful to Mr President for providing the resources and enabling environment for the NAF to effectively deliver on its constitutional roles”, he said.
While commissioning the hostel, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State observed that the quality of the hostel competes favourably with hostels of old in Nigeria’s premier universities. He therefore congratulated the CAS on the quality of work done and for improving on the facilities available in the School.
He particularly commended the performance of the School in the last SSSE during which nearly 100 per cent of the students had credits in a minimum of 5 subjects, including Mathematics and English Language. He then promised that the State Government would support the NAF’s efforts by completing the building of a block of staff quarters, which it had earlier embarked upon. It is noteworthy that many of the students in the School are indigenes of Akwa Ibom State.
While receiving the CAS, who later paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Governor Emmanuel requested for the establishment of a NAF Base in Uyo towards enhancing security in the State.
He stated the readiness of the State to support such a base with the modern aviation facilities available at the Akwa Ibom International Airport Uyo. Speaking earlier, Air Marshal Abubakar expressed the desire of the NAF to partner with the 2 universities in Akwa Ibom State in the area of Research and Development towards further improving the aircraft maintenance capability of the NAF.
He added that similar partnerships with other Nigerian universities had already revealed the abundance of talents as a result of which the NAF was able to resolve some aircraft maintenance related challenges.
The CAS then announced that a team of NAF officers from the Air Force Research and Development Centre would soon visit the 2 universities in the State in respect of the planned collaboration. In response to the Governor’s request for the establishment of a NAF Base in Uyo, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that due consideration would be given to the request.
Governor Udom Emmanuel later hosted the CAS and his team of senior NAF officers to a gala night at the Government House Banquet Hall. Immediately after the visit to Uyo, the CAS and his entourage proceeded on an operational tour of the NAF Base in Calabar.
Meanwhile, in another development, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on 10 January 2018, completed an operational visit to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) 305 Special Mobility Group (SMG) Calabar, Cross River State.
The visit was essentially to inspect operational facilities, identify challenges and commission recently completed projects. Accordingly, the CAS commissioned 3 blocks of newly constructed 6 x one bedroom transit accommodation for airmen/airwomen serving at the NAF Base in Calabar.
The commissioning of the buildings is in furtherance of the current NAF leadership’s determination to eliminate the challenge of insufficient accommodation as well as provide befitting housing for NAF personnel.
In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the CAS noted that the insufficiency of personnel accommodation within the barracks had affected NAF operations.
According to him, “the provision of accommodation for personnel in dispersed locations has had negative implications on regimentation, security and the ability to rapidly deploy personnel at short notice”.
It therefore became imperative for the current NAF leadership to address the NAF’s lingering accommodation deficit to improve personnel welfare with a view to enhancing operational effectiveness. He gladly announced that 73 per cent of NAF personnel are now accommodated in the barracks.
While commissioning the accommodation, retired Air Marshal Nsikak Eduok, one time CAS, said that he had been observing the highly commendable efforts of Air Marshal Abubakar in providing accommodation for personnel at NAF Bases all over the country. He therefore advised him to sustain his excellent performance. Air Marshal Eduok also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the provision of resources to cater for the welfare of personnel while praising the CAS for judiciously utilizing appropriated funds. He then enjoined all NAF personnel to reciprocate Mr President’s kind gesture by continuing to do well in the onerous task of defending the nation’s territorial integrity. The State Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, represented the Executive Governor of Cross Rivers State, Senator Professor Ben Ayade, at the commissioning ceremony. The Governor commended the highly professional manner the personnel of the NAF deployed to the State had been conducting themselves. He then reiterated the readiness of the State Government to continue to support the Unit in every possible way.
Earlier in the day, the CAS had paid a courtesy call on Governor Ben Ayade, whom he thanked for the support the NAF was enjoying from the State. He then stated the purpose of his visit to Calabar, adding that he was also going to commission accommodation for NAF personnel serving at 305 SMG Calabar.
Air Marshal Abubakar restated his belief that the human being is the most important asset in every organization and hence, his reason for making welfare a priority, aside from air operations and aircraft reactivation efforts. In his response, Governor Ayade noted with delight that much of the success in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast was attributable to the constant air strikes by the NAF.
Moreover, he stated his belief that the turnaround that was being witnessed in the fortunes of the NAF was a reflection of the sterling leadership qualities of Air Marshal Abubakar. According to the Governor, the NAF of today had become more responsive, better equipped and smarter. Considering the peculiarities of Cross River State, the Governor then requested for the deployment of a helicopter to the NAF Base in Calabar towards enhancing security in the State.
In response, the CAS highlighted the efforts of the Federal Government at reactivating aircraft to further increase aircraft serviceability in the NAF. In addition, he stated that the NAF was at the verge of inducting the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which it had locally designed, produced and recently operationalized. He then promised that consideration would be given to deploying the NAF’s helicopter and UAVs to enhance security in Cross River State.
The CAS and members of his team have since returned to Abuja after the operational tour of the NAF Base in Calabar.
Air Vice Marshal
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force