By Luka Binniyat
KADUNA—The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, yesterday gathered academics in rocket science and aerodynamics, explosive experts, drone designers, firearms makers, satellite engineers, instrumentalists and others into a brainstorming session to work out ways of using local content in making armaments to fight insurgency in the country.
The experts brought together by NAF Research and Development Unit, under the Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT, were mainly professors from some Nigerian universities and their counterparts from some government-funded research institutes.
Professor Emmanuel Ezuogu, Provost of AFIT, told newsmen: “This is post-seminar meeting of critical stakeholders. As you can recall, we had a seminar yesterday (Tuesday) with some of the service chiefs in attendance.
“Today’s (yesterday) roundtable is sequel to the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, that the Air Force signed with some 13 research institutes and universities.
“The aim is to find solutions with some of the challenges the Air Force is facing in some of its equipment in the face of the ongoing problems of insecurity.
“We hope to find homemade solutions to our problems using local content. This will save us the task of going back to the equipment manufacturers; the protocol involved and save scarce foreign resources.”
Participating varsities, agencies
Some of the universities that sent in their specialists are Federal University of Science and Technology, FUT, Akure; FUT, Bauchi, FUT Minna.
Others include Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria; Lagos State University, Lagos, LASU, and Kwara State University.
Government agencies present included Space, Travel and Propulsion Institute, STPI, Lagos; Nigerian Air Space Develop-ment Research Agency, NASRDA, Abuja; Defence Industrial Corporation, DICON, Kaduna, and Electronic Development Institute, Awaka.
Also invited were experts from Sheda Science and Technology Complex, SHESTCO, Abuja, and National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI.