From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Federal Government, yesterday, commissions three brand new JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter aircrafts into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force as part of measures to boost security in the country.
Speaking during the induction of the aircrafts at the NAF Base in Makurdi, Benue State capital, President Muhammadu Buhari said the feat was in fulfilment of one of the promises he made at the beginning of his administration, to improve the infrastructure and equipment dispositions of the armed forces. The air force also used the event to mark it’s 57th anniversary.
“It is indeed fitting that the grand finale of this year’s celebration is being marked with the induction of three brand new JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter aircraft into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force. This induction ceremony is also most rewarding to me because it marks another step in the fulfilment of one of the promises I made at the beginning of my administration, to improve the infrastructure and equipment dispositions of the Armed Forces and other security agencies to enhance their output, professionalism and service delivery,” he said.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi said the latest addition reflects how the service has continued to grow in stature and capability over the past 57 years, while developing competencies to achieve its constitutional mandate of defending the Nation’s territorial integrity by air and dealing with the security challenges facing our dear Nation.
He expressed the optimism that the three JF-17 Thunder fighter ground attack aircraft being added to the inventory of the air force, would boost the operational capacity of the service and add significant impetus to the fight against terrorism, insurgency, armed banditry and other forms of criminality in the country.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao said the three newly inducted fighter aircrafts brought the number of new aircrafts inducted into the NAF in the last six years to 26.
“Let me place on record that under the current administration the NAF has inducted 23 brand new aircrafts into it’s inventory from 2015 till date. The induction of the three JF-17 Thunder aircraft brings the total no of new aircrafts inducted to 26. These aircrafts have significantly boosted our operational effectiveness in the fight to defeat all threat to the nation and it’s citizenry,” Amao said.