The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on Wednesday said the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, recently acquired 22 new aircraft to support various ongoing military operations across the country.
Mr Abubakar made this disclosure while declaring open the NAF Finance Training Workshop with the theme: “Strengthening the NAF Finance Specialty for Efficient Service Delivery in Support of NAF Operations,” at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
He said that as at July 2015, the aircraft serviceability status of the Nigerian Air Force was below 60 per cent, but as at date, the aircraft serviceability status has improved beyond 80 per cent.
The Air Chief, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, AVM Mohammad Mohammad, said the NAF was able to deploy its platforms in support of military operations through prudent management of resources.
He said that NAF was not only striving to improve on the present status, but has complied with measures put in place by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure transparency and accountability in governance.
According to him, in line with the anti-corruption drive of Mr. President, Commander-in-Chief, the NAF has complied with measures put in place by the Federal Government to aid transparency in government’s financial transactions.
“This measure include the Treasury Single Account, Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, and the ongoing biometric data capture for the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, just to mention a few.
” The recent feats achieved by the Service cost a lot of money.
“For the Government to continue providing the necessary funds to support Nigerian Air Force operations, it behoves on you to continue to maintain high level of integrity as finance personnel in the management of these public funds.
“It spite of a decline in governmental allocation, the Nigerian Air Force alongside sister services have been able to achieve commendable successes in counterinsurgency and the fight against armed banditry plaguing various regions of the country.
“The Nigerian Air Force has been able to effectively deploy its platforms to these areas in support of sister services.
“This much was achieved through prudent management of resources allocated to the Service and strict compliance with procurement laws,” Mr Abubakar said.
He said the occasion is in line with two key drivers of his vision, which emphasised on human capacity building through robust and result oriented training and prudent management of resources.
Mr Abubakar said the workshop is timely and very important to the service as a fighting force: “considering that the last workshop for all finance personnel was held in the year 2007.”
According to him, the overall attitude of the Nigerian Air Force today is in tandem with the theme for this workshop.
The air chief enjoined all participants to listen attentively to the array of esteemed lecturers and discuss freely so that the service can derive the maximum benefit from this workshop.
In his remark, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, said modern military requires specialists in all respects to successfully drive its core and other support mandates.
Mr Idirs, represented by Mohammed Kudu, a Director of Funds in the AGF Office, said “one way of overcoming the challenge of inadequate financing is the effective and efficient management of lean resources by competent and professional personnel in the face of competing demands.
” In that respect, the NAF would need to command the best in her officers through capacity building and thorough skill acquisition and exposure to the latest financial management programmes.
“NAF should also guarantee compliance with extant rules and regulations to foster accountability and probity in its operations.
“It should never be compromised in order to ensure a functional and highly efficient system,” he said.