The drive of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) towards ensuring that its personnel have befitting residential accommodation has received a fresh boost with the commissioning of 2 newly constructed blocks of 6 x 3 bedroom flats for married officers at the Sam Ethnan Air Force Base Ikeja, Lagos today, 28 May 2020. Speaking during the commissioning, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command (AOC LC), Air Vice Marshal Lawal Alao, noted that the commissioning of the project was a testimony to his resolve to improve the welfare of NAF personnel, being a major requirement in the development of human capacity for enhanced operational performance. He noted that, while the NAF was being restructured for more effective and efficient service delivery in the last 4 and half years, several infrastructural developments aimed at improving both the working and living conditions of personnel were also embarked upon. The infrastructural developments, the CAS added, included the construction of new offices and living accommodations across all NAF Bases in the Country, to provide conducive atmosphere for optimum operational output.
Speaking further, the CAS noted that the infrastructural development was a major morale boosting factor for some of the modest operational achievements recorded so far. “In the last 4 and half years, while working to address the housing deficit for personnel, we have provided befitting accommodation for about 7,500 families. We remain resolute to do more”, he said. The CAS commended the Logistics Command (LC) for providing necessary support that had enabled the Service to be more efficient in the conduct of its operations across various theatres. He pledged that the Headquarters would continue to provide the necessary resources to enable the Command to continue playing its vital role in supporting NAF operations. The CAS equally lauded the measures emplaced by the Command to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and described the communal approach to tackling the virus with the introduction of COVID-19 Enlightenment and Enforcement Team made up of youth volunteers within the Base, as most impressive. He highlighted that Headquarters NAF, in compliance with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines, had directed the scaling down of the number of personnel for official work to the barest minimum to limit likelihood of contact. He also reminded personnel to continue to maintain personal hygiene, whilst observing physical distancing.
While thanking the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the resources being expended to improve personnel welfare, the CAS enjoined personnel to take responsibility for the proper maintenance of all infrastructure on all NAF Bases, whilst remaining committed to the effective execution of assigned tasks. “As a Service, we must also strive to continuously meet the expectations of the Nation at this time of heightened insecurity by protecting the citizenry and our critical assets as well as bringing succour to those in despair as we discharge our constitutional responsibilities to the Nation,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Commander 651 Base Service Group, Air Commodore Razaq Olanrewaju, expressed gratitude to the CAS for continuing to give priority attention to the provision of decent accommodation for personnel. He assured the CAS that personnel would continually strive to ensure that the NAF lives up to its constitutional responsibilities. One of the highlights of the occasion was the presentation of keys to beneficiaries.