as Nigerian Air Force seeks collaboration on local content

By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA- AS Nigeria continues to rely heavily on imported goods and services at the detriment of the economy, Director General and Chief Executive Officer, National Metallurgical Development Centre, NMDC, Prof Linus Asuquo, yesterday, harped on use of local content through collaborations to implement Executive Order 5.

Asuquo who was represented by the Director, Research Development and  Consultancy Services , Dr Dorcas Joseph, stressed the need to look inwards while receiving the Chief of Air Staff, Nigeria Air Force , Air Marshall I O Amao who was equally  represented by the Director, Research and Development ,Air Vice  Marshall Nnaemeka Ilo, at NMDC Head quarters ,Jos.Chief of Air Staff, Nigeria Air Force , Air Marshall I O Amao who was equally represented by the Director , Research and Development ,Air Vice Marshall Nnaemeka Ilo at NMDC Head quarters ,Jos.

Asuquo also pointed that it is now imperative for Government agencies including the private sector to create a solid and sustainable synergy to promote and patronize local content in order to achieve  the objective of Executive Order 5 which is capable of moving  Nigeria from a consuming nation to a more productive and industrialized nation.

Meanwhile, while he recalled that on 5th February  2018, President  Muhammadu Buhari signed into law Executive Order 5, it was primarily aimed at Planning  and Execution  of Projects , Promotion  of Nigerian Content in Contract and Science Engineering Technology .

He said: “We all know how China transformed  itself  from a third world country  to first world country  through  domestication of its local content legislation.

“With deliberate  and conscientious collaborations among  government  agencies through  the implementation of Executive Order 5, Nigeria will astronomically shift from a crawling third world  economy to a competitive and enviable global economy.”

While the NAF delegation was conducted round the Centre, the DG’s representative explained to them that NMDC as a research and development  centre has all it takes to industrialize the country if properly funded.

However, the Asuquo-led NMDC with minimal funding has been transformed from  a moribund status to a viable and morw attractive research and development centre, especially in the areas of infrastructural development, procurement of R and D equipment, and collaborations with relevant agencies.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff,Nigeria Air Force , Air Marshall I O Amao who was represented by Air Vice Marshall Nnaemeka Ilo, explained why they came for the courtesy visit to NMDC on a fact finding mission.

Amao said NAF took the decision after reading so much about research  and developmental strides taking place in NMDC,Jos. 

He further stated that with the R and D equipment and expertise seen at the Centre, he had no option to recommend the Centre for partnership with NAF .

As a way of giving the background  for  the need to partner with relevant  civil establishment, NAF was established on 18th April ,1964 following  the  passage by the National Assembly of the 1964 Air Force Act which stated that the Force be saddled with the task of defending the country majorly through the air operations.

Meanwhile, the representative of CAS said his boss is so passionate of ensuring that the Force explores local materials and expertise through collaboration with other organs of the Armed Forces and civil establishments for the building, maintenance of Aircraft and manufacturing of defense equipment.

He urged the NMDC’s management to commence process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU.

However, in the assertion by a member of the NAF delegate, Deputy Director R&D, Headquarters, Nigerian Air Force ,Wing Commander Abdullahi Hussaini, said that Research and Development in the Nigerian Air Force plays a pivotal role in adding value to overall realization of the mandate of the Force.

Hussaini also suggested that with proper understanding between the Chief of Air Staff and DG/CE, NMDC, Air Force Research Centre, Kaduna and NMDC, Jos, Nigeria will soon be among the committee of industrialized states, thereby reducing humongous amount of money spent on the importation of materials and expertise which can be sourced for locally.

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