By Tukur Muntari
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it would soon take delivery of 12 newly acquired aircraft from the United States as part of renewed efforts to end the insurgency in the Northeast.
Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar stated this while inaugurating Modular Theatre at the 465 Nigeria Air Force Hospital in Kano on Saturday.
He said the Air Force is also expecting six gunship helicopters from Italy saying the aircraft and helicopters would enhance operational capacity of the force.
“I have just inspected the hanger here at the NAF base where three of our aircraft are being reactivated.
“It is in line with our commitment to have a professional Air Force which also has the necessary equipment to enable it discharge its duties effectively,” he said.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to the service pointing out that the Federal Government had within the last three years procured 18 brand new aircraft for NAF.
He said NAF would continue to support its personnel with the view to enable them to continue to provide the necessary security for Nigeria and Nigerians.
On the Modular Theater, the Air Chief said its commissioning showed how committed the present administration is in meeting the healthcare needs of its personnel.
While calling on the hospital management to make the facility available to civilians around the area, Abubakar urged NAF personnel and their families to take advantage of the facilities provided.
“The facility will go a long way in improving health care delivery to both NAF personnel and communities around the hospital,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief of Medical Services, NAF headquarters, Air Commodore M. E. Sha’aibu said with the inauguration, injured personnel from the theatre operation in the Northeast could be evacuated to the hospital for treatment.
“Although the theatre was built six years ago, it was neither fully completed nor equipped so could not be put to use.
“However, realising the importance of the hospital in support of our operation in the Northeast, CAS directed that the theatre be completed, equipped and put to use immediately,” he said.
He said that the theatre comprised of offices, reception, lecture, common and recovery rooms and two operating suites.
He added that it is also equipped with modern anesthetic machine, operating tables, theatre lamps, C-arm machines and operating microscopes.
He commended CAS for providing funds for the maintenance of the equipment in the Radio diagnostic department of the hospital in addition to employing seasoned consultants.