AGAINST the backdrop of Boko Haram terrorism and other security challenges facing the nation, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu has said that hundreds of Airforce personnel engaged in production of uniforms and accoutrements, will now become available to tackle insecurity with the introduction of Public Private Partnership.
Speaking in Kaduna, at the commissioning of an accoutrement production factory for Airforce uniforms jointly operated by the NAF and Bebeyi Group, Amosu said, “The good news is that we are going to be self-sufficient in kitting our men. Before now we had many of our soldiers that had to take up this responsibility and it affected the number of deployments.
“But with what we have today (PPP), we can free most of our soldiers and take them back to the core duties and allow Bebeyi and Company to make our uniforms for us. What are we trying to do, is part of national security. We are trying to enhance the quality of the population of Nigeria. We are trying to make space for gainful employment and as I said before if he can produce for the Air Force, he can also produce for the Army, Navy and even Customs and Immigration. So you can see the huge population that would be employed by this company.”
Asked how the faking of the uniforms can be prevented by terrorists, the CAS said, “The uniform materials you are seeing have underground coding. When we apply certain liquid, we know what we are expecting to see and the kind features that is embedded in these uniform and if you bring a uniform that looks like a camouflage, we have a way we can test and we will be sure that from the result it will be very clear that this is not from the Air Force.”
While expressing joy at the partnership, Amosu said, “To be honest with you it is a happy day when a military organization can kit itself. It is a huge achievement and for now we can stand tall and check our officers and men not well dressed for a particular occasion. We are confident that we can now check that our men are well dressed. This is going to help us enhance discipline. So if we are going to rapidly change our uniform for security purposes, even if tomorrow or we want to change the colour, we can equally do that.”
Enhancing of national security
On time frame, he said, “In thirty minutes for instance, if I take my measurement, my uniform is ready. In the same way when we are out in battle and we say we want to change our uniform from blue to green within days that can be achieved. It is good news for us. Again I want to assure that most of the workers we have here definitely will be ex-military men and I want you to take advantage of that because we don’t need too much of vetting, and don’t forget that when we discharge our men and companies such as yours are there to accept them, then you have really helped Nigeria.”
On national security, the CAS said, “when you can empower these people that have served the nation enough and for the service to say go home and you still pick them up, you have really helped the nation. We will not forget to put it down appropriately and to let the government know that companies like Bebeyi are doing a lot to enhance national security.”
Responding, managing partner, Mr. Ade Bebeyi said, “I started the business because of my love for my country and especially because of the security challenges facing the country as miscreants were using military uniform to cause havoc. So I decided that there must be a solution. That was when I started and we have put every apparatus in place as there is none of my product can be faked. There is security code to identify all products. We can produce 500 uniforms per day and we have two places in Lagos; one for air force and one for police. It is part of the programme and 95 percent of our staff is going to be ex military men.”