The Federal Government has assured the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) of its commitment toward ensuring adequate provision of basic infrastructures and welfare incentives for Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) personnel.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Daramola quoted Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence (MOD), as giving the assurance on Wednesday during the inauguration of a newly built block of six 3-bedroom flats at the NAF Base, Asokoro, Abuja.
Daramola said the newly built block of six 3-bedroom flats at Asokoro was named after late Group Capt. Ubong Akpan.
He said the late senior officer, who was a combat helicopter pilot died while on a combat mission in counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast on November 13, 2014.
Daramola said the immortalisation of late Akpan was in keeping with the NAF tradition of immortalising fallen heroes, especially those that paid the supreme price while serving the nation.
Batagarawa was quoted as saying that given the statutory mandate of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation, the AFN deserves befitting welfare packages.
According to her, the Federal Government will continue to ensure provision of befitting office and residential accommodations as well as other welfare incentives.
“Therefore, we are determined to continue to accord due attention to the welfare of our troops and continue to pursue these projects steadily, within the limit of available resources,” she said.
Batagarawa acknowledged the robust support and encouragement of President Muhammadu Buhari, without which she said, the numerous projects and operational feats being celebrated would not have been possible.
She added that the Ministry would not relent in its efforts to continue to boost the morale of personnel of the AFN for enhanced professional performance.
The Permanent Secretary also expressed her appreciation to the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the cooperation extended to the Ministry by the NAF towards the successful implementation of the project.
AVM Kingsley Lar, the Chief of Administration, Headquarters NAF, noted that the new block would provide the needed comfort for the beneficiaries,
He said that it would also augment the numerous ones being provided by the administration of Abubakar in ameliorating the accommodation challenges of NAF personnel in Abuja.
Lar recalled, with nostalgia, the enormous contributions of late Group Capt. Akpan to the Service and the nation, particularly in the counter insurgency operations.
He noted that the late senior officer paid the supreme price while in active duty, hence the need to immortalise him.
He expressed NAF’s continued commitment to support the families of all fallen heroes in all respects, while urging all serving personnel to remain unwavering in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.