The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has thumbed up the capacity and abilities of the combatant Nigerian Armed Forces for restoring peace and giving hope to many parts of the country.
The Minister made the commendation while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Air Force, led by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar in his office.
He noted that the Nigerian Armed Forces have diligently worked to stamp out the activities of insurgents in the North Eastern part of Nigeria as well as criminal activities in other parts of the country.
Bello remarked that the Nigerian Armed Forces have really brought back what they were known for in this country, saying, “You have restored hope at least to so many parts of this country”.
Commending the Armed forces prowess in the North East, the Minister pointed out that the institutional intervention which the men and officers of the Armed Forces have been doing during the last few months in the region and South-South respectively deserves commendation.
He particularly praised the gallant Nigeria Air Force for the planned aerial surveillance of Abuja-Kaduna road, Abuja – Jos road as well as Abuja – Lokoja road by the Force, saying that the action will go a long way in ensuring security of motorists on these ever busy roads.
His words: “I assure you that this additional support you want to give in terms of aerial surveillance of the major arteries into the territory is a welcome development. If there are new areas you want to partner with us in terms of support, we are available.”
The Minister thus, appreciated the wonderful relationship that the FCTA and Nigerian Air Force have maintained, promising that it would be sustained.
“The Air Force as an institution has been a very important agent of development in this nation and you’ve done tremendously well for the country over the years,” he added.
Commenting on the plan of the Service to provide houses for the lower ranks, the Minister said that the initiative was very timely and in line with the FCT Administration’s general vision and focus.
He recalled that even last week, “we held an interactive meeting with officials of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and we told them in clear terms that any new land we provide for mass housing will now really be geared towards the lower income level”.
The Minister lamented that over the last few years, private individuals and estate developers have built a lot of houses in Abuja but all tended to cater for the high end market and as a result, most of these houses are still unoccupied and have remained a big challenge.
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar lauded the very excellent relationship between the Air Force and the FCTA and assured that as a service, the Nigeria Air Force has the responsibility to ensure that every inch of the Nigerian territory is secured and also safe for people to go about their legitimate aspirations.
Air Marshal Abubakar further assured that the Air Force would continue to do everything humanly possible in support of other security agencies, particularly the Police that is constitutionally empowered to handle the issues of internal security.
“We are looking at other possible areas of introducing some aerial surveillance along Abuja/Kaduna road and then Abuja/Jos and Abuja/Lokoja roads. We are working towards that as a way of making sure those roads are safe with no problems,” he revealed.
The Air Chief thanked the Minister for all the titles the Force has received for its landed properties in Abuja, adding that the service is looking at addressing the welfare needs of officers and men particularly the Air men who deserve some attention in the area of ensuring that their welfare is well taken care of.
He added, “That is why we are looking at a way of coming up with non-commissioned officers’ housing programme, which is a programme that is aimed at giving opportunities to non-commissioned officers to also have opportunities to own a house by the time they leave the service”.
The Air Chief assured that as a service, the Air Force will continue to function in line with its constitutional responsibilities and it would continue to do everything humanly possible in collaboration with other security agencies to ensure that the FCT is safe and secured.