From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said his administration has commissioned 23 brand new aircraft into the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) since his assumption into office in 2015.
Mr President made this known during virtual induction and commissioning ceremony of newly acquired NAF MI-171E Helicopter, two reactivated Alpha Jets and one L39ZA aircraft – all belonging to the Nigerian Air Force.
President Buhari restated that his administration would continue to support the armed forces in any way it could to help them become more effective in the execution of their mandate for the safety and security of the country.
He further added that his administration has boosted the capacity of the NAF with 23 brand new aircraft in recent times with more still on the way, “today’s induction brings to 23 the number of brand new aircraft that have been added to the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force since we came on board in 2015 and is a clear reflection of our unflinching commitment to ensuring the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.
“These 23 new aircraft are aside from the 15 additional aircraft, including 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States of America and 3 JF-17 Thunder Multi-Role Fighter aircraft from Pakistan that has been procured and will soon be delivered.
“We had released two Agusta 101 helicopters from the Presidential Air Fleet to the Nigerian Air Force to improve its tactical lift capability”, Mr President added.
Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) said, “President Buhari, since assumption of office, prioritised national security at the top of his agenda and part of it is reequipping the Armed Forces to enhance their operational effectiveness just as he called on the Force to abide by the maintenance schedules of the aircraft to enable the nation get the best out of them.
Earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, assured Mr President of the unalloyed loyalty of NAF and its readiness to relentlessly work for the protection of the territorial integrity of the country.