Nigerian Air force intensifies war against boko haram

David Adekunle, Lagos

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says its personnel consume an average of 1.9 million litres of fuel each month to prosecute the war against terrorist group, boko  haram in the Northeast.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar said this at the start of a two day NAF Logistics Seminar held in Lagos.

 According to the Air Chief, the NAF has managed to continue its operations across the country despite the scarcity of aviation fuel because it was determined to ensure that no Nigerian territory was under siege.

 “To support air operations in the northeast, the NAF must put an excellent plan that will ensure availability of aviation fuel in the operational area, whether the product is locally available or not. The service consumed an average of 1.9 million litres of aviation fuel monthly.

Our logisticians therefore, must work assiduously to ensure the product is available for operation. In a war situation, no excuse is acceptable. To ensure we build capacity in logistics planning, the NAF has embarked on training and retraining both within and outside Nigeria.”

Continuing, Abubakar said the service consistently seeks ways of standardizing her logistics procedures and operations in line with current global best practices.

 According to him, the seminar was apt, considering the current security situation in the country which requires discipline and detailed planning.

 “To address the situation, the NAF must together a carefully planned strategy not only for the movement of equipment and personnel to theatre if operations but also for the maintenance of its air assets. It is only when we get the strategy right that we can hope to effectively and efficiently deploy air power necessary to address the challenges facing Nigeria,” he said.

 In his address, the Minister of Defence,Muhammad Dan-Ali assured the country that more boko haram hostages would be rescued, commending security personnel who have made huge sacrifices to ensure the country stays united.

“Combat operations against insurgents in the northeast are still ongoing. NAF has remained a major player in carryout aeriel bombardment leading to the destruction of boko haram elements’ camps and dislodging them from their strongholds within Sambisa Forest and adjoining enclaves.

The sustained air operations have granted a greater latitude to the ground troops to rescue additional hostages mostly women and children who were abducted by the insurgents. Boko haram’s will to fight has been seriously downgraded.”

 In his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Sani Ahmed lauded the Air Chief for his concerted efforts to enhance facilities and infrastructure of the service.

He noted that the Logistics Command was poised to provide robust support for the NAF fleets, adding that they were striving to evolve a credible, responsive and responsible logistics system that would guarantee timely, effective and efficient air support in all theatres of operation.

 The seminar which was tagged “repositioning Nigerian Air force logistics for effective employment of air power, in response to contemporary national security imperatives,” has in  attendance, the representative of Minister of Defence; permanent secretary of the ministry, Danjuma Sheni and General Officer Commanding GOC 81 Division, Maj.Gen.Isidore Edet.

Other are: Flag Officers Commanding, FOCs Western Naval and Logistics Commands, Rear Admirals, Ferguson Bobai and Beegny Ibe-Enwo; Air Officers Commanding AOCs Logistics and tactical Commands, Air Vice Marshals Sani Ahmed and Muhammad Mohammed, as well as the Chairmen of Air force Committees in the National Assembly among others.