President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday promised to ensure appropriate funding for the Nigeria Armed Forces to enhance their capacity and professionalism.
Buhari made the promise at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Air Force International Air Power Seminar in Abuja.
The theme of the seminar is “Air Power in Irregular Warfare: A Framework for Understanding and Responding.’’
The president said government would accord priority to develop the capacity of the armed forces and other security agencies.
“We are committed to enhancing the welfare of all service personnel to enable them give their utmost in their service to the nation.
“We are also committed to ensuring that our armed forces are appropriately trained and equipped to deal with contemporary challenges of a globalised world, of which insurgency and terrorism have become of greatest concern.
“We will continue to support the drive to modernise the armed forces through budgetary enhanced allocation in their quest to meet the constitutional demands of protecting Nigeria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,’’ Buhari said.
He said the seminar was timely as the military had been engaged in counter insurgency operations in the North East.
“This seminar is quite timely, in that since the outbreak of the Boko Haram crisis in the North East of Nigeria, Nigerian Air Force and indeed the armed forces of Nigeria have been engaged in conducting counter insurgency operations that have challenged the services’ doctrine, tactics, training Order of Battle and force protection architecture.
“Seminars like this are thus necessary for armed forces like the Nigerian air force to draw from the experiences of other armed forces that have either previously or are presently engaged in counter insurgency operations.
“It is common knowledge that even though we require substantial military input in combating an insurgency, its root cause is inherently political in nature.
“Successful counterinsurgency operations would therefore require unity of efforts across multiple Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), covering political, economic, law enforcement, and of course the military.
“In this regard, we have mobilised relevant agencies and international organisations to support the counter insurgency effort in order to ensure success,’’ he said.
He said that the vision of his government was to build a prosperous Nigeria that would be the pride of future generations.
Buhari, however, said that this could not be accomplished without peace, stability and security.
“Peace and stability can only be achieved if we are committed to emplacing reforms that will entrench true democracy in our polity.
“In the same vein, reforms would be required to enable us build a virile economy that can support our aspirations.
On the economy, Buhari said his administration was committed to diversifying the country’s economy.
“We have been partnering with other stronger economies to attract the much need Foreign Direct Investment,” he said.
The president said the Federal Government was also looking at alternate means of generating electricity to power the country’s industries and meet domestic demand.
“This is to ensure that we build an economically prosperous, politically stable, socially just and truly democratic Nigeria, where security of lives and property is guaranteed,’’ he said.
He commended the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar for the initiative to hold the air power seminar.
“It is important to stress that they had been steady improvement in the security situation in the North East where the Boko Haram activities had been confined in recent times.
“We have denied them the ability to hold territories and the freedom of movement to operate at will and they now resort to skeletal attacks on soft targets.
“Our thoughts and prayers are always with victims and families of the Boko Haram atrocities`.
“We remain committed to ensuring that the crisis comes to an end, while making the North East and indeed all parts of Nigeria safe for all to live and prosper,’’ he said.