Chioma Joseph, Lagos.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has said that to surmount the security challenges bedeviling the nation, a partnership between the public and private is germane in ending the spate of security challenges bedeviling the nation.
Abubakar, who was speaking during a courtesy call on Caverton Helicopters in Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, maintained that the military alone cannot win the fight against insecurity.
Calling for a more robust partnership from both sectors, the chief of air staff stated that all hands must be on deck in the new year, to ensure that the security and peace of the nation is restored.
He further revealed that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) was perfecting plans to partner with Caverton Helicopters for the training, maintenance and repair of aircrafts for effective and efficient service delivery to the nation.
The air chief noted that through the partnership, the nation will save more funds as aircrafts will no longer be taken abroad for repairs.
“I am in Lagos to look at the facilities in Caverton Helicopters; we believe that in getting the job done in the air force, we need the support of everybody including the private sector. I believe what I have seen here shows that we can key into so many things that they are doing here.
“The facilities they have is top class and I believe NAF has a lot to gain from this in terms of training and maintenance of our helicopters, and that is how it should be. It will be cheaper to bring aircrafts here for maintenance rather than flying them out.
“We are going to work together with them, so that we can build the required capacity for us to continue to do the job assigned to us.
I believe by the time we fine-tune the arrangement of the partnership with them, it will clearly show why we believe that all hands must be on deck if we are dealing with insecurity.
“The fight to keep Nigeria secured is not for the military alone, it requires every sector of the society to be part and parcel of the process. I am very excited with what I have seen, and I am sure we are going to benefit from what they have,” declared.
On what Nigerians should expect in the new year, Abubakar said the NAF will focus on where there are opportunities that will aid in the fight against insurgency and other security threats.
He said this will pave the way for citizens in all part of the country to go about their lawful businesses without fear.
“In 2021, we are working round the clock, and my visit here is part of the fight and that is why I am saying it is very exciting that we are seeing the opportunities at Caverton. There are disconnects between the military and the private sector and I think we should find a way to bridge the gap.
“If I had not come here, I wouldn’t have known that they have facilities that can support the fight. For us, an aircraft has to be serviceable for us to fight. So in 2021, I can see there are many areas of partnership particularly with the private sector.
We will focus to know where these opportunities are so that we can get our airplanes flying effectively and efficiently.
”The kind of example we want to see is where the private sector will look at what is required and provide the facilities, so that we don’t have to fly aircrafts outside Nigeria for maintenance. Nigeria must be secured and people allowed to pursue their legitimate aspirations.” he added.
Chairman of Caverton Helicopters, Aderemi Makanjulola stated that the organisation was excited to be useful to NAF and the Nigerian community as a whole.
“Everybody wants peace and if you are part of peace, you are part of everything. We are grateful that the chief of air staff has come, and we will work assiduously with him to do our best to ensure that everything NAF wants that we can provide are delivered with utmost urgency and transparency as well,” he said.
Similarly, the Managing Director of Caverton Helicopters, Rotimi Makanjuola noted that the partnership with NAF will on a long run birth the local production of parts for aircrafts.
Daily Times reports that the chief of air staff toured major units of Caverton Helicopters, including the bonded store, maintenance, repair and overhaul, service beat, and simulator for 139, amongst others.