The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has inducted three newly acquired JF-17 Thunder multi-role aircraft into its inventory.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, performed the induction at an event held on Thursday in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
He stated that the induction ceremony was personally rewarding to him as it marked yet another step in his promise to improve the infrastructure and equipment dispositions of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies for enhanced output, professionalism, and service delivery.
The President added that the induction of the JF-17 aircraft was indicative of how the air force has continued to advance its capability and capacity over the past 57 years while developing competencies to achieve its constitutional mandate of defending the nation’s territorial integrity by air.
He commended the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, for remaining at the forefront of the fight against all enemies of Nigeria.
President Buhari believes the air force chief has embarked on initiatives towards bridging NAF’s human capacity gaps, as well as exploiting research and development for improved self-reliance.
He went further to commend the resilience and commitment of members of the military and other security agencies for ensuring the sovereignty of Nigeria and its indivisibility.
Similarly, the President appreciated the support of the Government of Pakistan and the efforts of the Pakistani Ambassador to Nigeria, Mohammad Azam, at sustaining the strategic partnership between Nigeria and Pakistan.
He gave an assurance that his administration would continue to work with members of the international community to collectively evolve solutions to the common challenges of terrorism and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
President Buhari used the occasion to salute the gallantry of personnel who have paid the supreme price in the defence of the nation and prayed for the repose of their souls.