NAF Pledges To Sustain Partnership With Ibeto Group
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has expressed commitment of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to sustain its partnership with Ibeto Group of Companies in aircraft maintenance.
Abubakar gave the assurance during his visit and inspection of the company’s facilities at Nnewi on Tuesday.
“When a country is facing security challenges, all hands must be on deck.
“The private sector has crucial role to play and we have been partnering Ibeto Group of Companies in the production of batteries for aircrafts.
“They have done a good job. We visited here to see what they have additionally and to see other areas of partnerships,” Abubakar said.
He expressed the commitment of NAF in supporting the company and also ensured greater security for Nigeria and its people.
The chief of air staff said a technical committee from the Research and Development department of NAF and Ibeto will be set up will to look into the facilities of the Air Force including batteries and lubricant.
He commended the firm’s contributions toward the fight against insurgency and other criminal activities in the different theaters of conflict.
Abubakar stressed that the partnership was aimed at bridging the time of procuring maintenance equipment for air crafts.
“If we can produce these things in Nigeria, it will save foreign exchange, enhance production and provide more employment.
It is also a way to cut air down time of waiting for many months to get these items from abroad and keying into the Federal Government’s directive of enhancing local contents,” he stressed.
Earlier, the Chairman of Ibeto Group, Chief Clement Ibeto represented by Chief Eze Ezechesi commended the support of NAF to the private sector in the use of local contents.
“I want to put it on record that you happen to be the first among the over 20 Chief of Air Staff that has given emphasis on the use of locally produced materials for their operations of the Air Force,” he said.
In a presentation, the Executive Director of Union Auto-parts Manufacturing Ltd., Mr Vincent Ejike enumerated some of the major challenges facing the battery manufacturing and oil blending business.
Ejike listed some of the challenges to include the dumping of substandard batteries and lubricants from overseas and lack of government’s commitment to protect local manufacturers.
Other challenges are extreme low patronage and continued export of used batteries and lead scraps.
Ejike appealed to Abubakar to recommend the usage of its batteries and lubricants to the other arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces.