MINISTER, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Ognonnaya Onu, Friday said the ministry in collaboration with Nigerian Air Force will do everything humanly possible to support Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) to domesticate its technological inventions to meet the national and international needs.
The Minister, who was speaking as Guest of Honour at the 45th convocation of AFIT in Kaduna, said the Institute is already doing well in terms of manpower and technical needs of Air Force which if well supported, will not only satisfy the need of local market, but will also go international which will in the long run helped the nation to move from been mere consumption country to producing one, saying that can only be achieved with supports from all key stakeholders.
According to him, “your efforts have helped the nation to recovered and remind us that the nation must be one and that there must not be any other flag in any other part of the country which you have helped us achieve.
“Nigeria is gradually moving from been a consuming to producing country. We can no longer be importing things we need. The time has come for us to produce what we need and export to other nations as this will help us create jobs and solve the problem of insecurity.
“As we start producing locally, the output may not be the best at the beginning but we should continue knowing that we will surely overcome any tooting challenge that may surface. It is only when we do this that our manufacturers can research and improve on this as done in other developed climes which AFIT has already started with must support them”.
Chief of Air Staff, NAF, Air Marshal Sodiq Baba Abubakar, said with her population, Nigeria, needed to be strengthened in such a way that will make it better which is why “we are going to support AFIT to make it stronger in terms of manpower and technology we need today especially in the area of science research.
“This is because society today is knowledge driven. Before now, we used to go out for many of the trainings because we don’t have trainers. But today, AFIT is doing that and we have been able to save money, time and energy. We still have to relate with other countries but in a higher magnitude now because we have what we can offer the world. We are really getting manpower that will help us achieve this and with supports from all key stakeholders, the sky will be our beginning.”
He however commended President Mohammadu Buhari for his unrelenting supports that have helped the NAF to achieve so much in a space of one year.
The Provost of the Institute, Professor (Engr) Emmanuel Ezugwu, who could not hid his excitement, said “achievements recorded in just one year is far greater than what I have seen in my eight years stewardship as Provost of the Institute.”
Earlier, Commandant, AFIT, Air Commodore Musibau Adekunke Soladoye, the 451 graduating students were not from defense sector alone, but has expanded it’s student’s intake to include civilians from the country and other neighbouring countries of Benin Republic, Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.
The total of 5,055 have so far graduated from 16 programmes of the Institute since its upgrade in 2008.