The Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), Major General Bashir Magashi (Retired) today, 19 December 2019, commissioned 4 newly constructed buildings for Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel in Abuja, while also promising that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) would sustain the needed support to ensure that the Service continues to effectively carryout its constitutional role. The buildings commissioned include one block of 6 x 3 bedroom flats for married officers, 2 blocks of 10 x one-bedroom Single Officers Quarters and a block of 20 x one-bedroom flats for Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs). The 6 flats of 3 bedrooms for married officers was named after Squadron Leader Nassar Abdullah who died in an air crash on 15 October 1990, while the 20 x one-bedroom flats for SNCOs was named after Warrant Officer Ogunlade Olorunyomi who died on 12 December 2013.
The HMOD, who was the Special Guest of Honour (SGOH) at the occasion, said the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration was irrevocably committed to the welfare of officers and men of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to enable them have the right frame of mind to give their utmost in service to the Nation. He stated that the MOD, being fully aware of the challenges and demands of the military profession, would, in similar vein, continue to take necessary steps towards ensuring that the NAF and its personnel receive both material and moral support required for the effective and efficient execution of assigned tasks. He noted that the naming of the buildings after fallen heroes was a commendable gesture by the NAF, which would give comfort to their loved ones whilst also encouraging those still in service that their sacrifices would never go unrewarded. General Magashi particularly commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for his devotion and pragmatic leadership style which had led to considerable successes in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country and resulted in numerous landmark achievements in the areas human capacity and infrastructural development as well as enhancement of personnel welfare, amongst others. He said the MOD was proud of his stewardship of the NAF and therefore urged him to sustain the momentum.
While fielding questions from journalists after the event, the CAS thanked the current administration of President Mohammadu Buhari for creating the enabling environment which has made the Service thrive in all its endeavours. He added that the Service would continue to take the welfare of its personnel as a priority because of its direct impact on morale and professional performance of troops. The CAS noted that the NAF, in keeping with its tradition, would also continue to ensure that the families of fallen heroes are well cared for.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Administration Headquarters NAF, Air Vice Marshal Kingsley Lar, thanked the HMOD for the Ministry’s continued support to the NAF, especially with regard to the construction of residential accommodation for personnel. He said the efforts of the MOD were effectively complementing the immense efforts of the CAS to ease the accommodation challenges of personnel to enable them and their families have conducive home environments that would enhance their performance on the job. He particularly lauded the volume and pace of MOD infrastructural projects in the last 4 years, remarking that they were unprecedented when compared to what obtained in the past. He added that the NAF would ensure the buildings were used responsibly.
The highlights of the occasion were the presentation of keys to the beneficiaries of the new accommodation. The event was graced by Branch Chiefs, Directors, unit commanders as well as other senior NAF officers.