By Emeka Mamah
Kaduna – No fewer than 4,000 officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Benin Republic, Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe have so far been trained by the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna since its inception, the Commandant of the institute, Air Commodore Norbert Offor, has said.
Offor also said 244 students would soon graduate from AFIT, adding that of these graduates, 197 are soldiers, ratings or airmen while 47 are officers from Ghanaian Air Force.
Offor spoke at a joint pre-graduation news conference with the Provost of the institution, Prof. Emmanuel Ezeugwu at the institute yesterday.
He said although AFIT had held several graduations in the past, this yearâ€™s graduation ceremony was very significant as it was part of the effort by the management to admit civilians into the post graduate and masters degree programmes of the institution.
According to him, efforts are also being made to upgrade the facilities in the institute which is the only one that trains aeronautic engineers in the country to a world class standard.
His words: â€œIt may interest you to know that since its establishment, AFIT has contributed effectively to the Nigerian governmentâ€™s policy of offering technical assistance to her neighbouring countries while developing the human resource capacity of the logistics trade in the NAF and sister Services.
â€œOver 4,000 officers and non-commissioned officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces and personnel from Benin Republic, Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe have been trained so far.
â€œOur graduates have over the years in mission areas successfully and independently carried out aircraft and equipment maintenance activities without foreign assistance,â€ he said.