The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it will partner South Africa on manpower training, procurement of equipment and joint military exercises with a view to building a formidable air force.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar said this in Kaduna last Friday at the ongoing 2nd Nigeria Air Exposition, organised as part of activities to mark the 48th Anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force.
Umar expressed satisfaction with the participation of foreign companies at the expo, especially African countries, and said that bilateral relations had been signed with a host of them.
“Our discussions bordered on bilateral cooperation in the areas of training, operation and equipment.
“We have had lots of requests from our sister African countries in terms of training, equipment and collaboration in military exercises.
“We are looking at those requests and when they go through the proper channels, the Nigerian air force will be ready to oblige them.’’
Earlier, the Chief Director, Air Policy and Plans of South African Air Force, Maj.-Gen. Zakes Msimang, commended NAF for the high level of professionalism and enthusiasm displayed during the event.
Msimang assured that the South African Air Force would work with NAF to built a powerful and formidable air force in Africa that would meet global standards.
“I must be honest; I am overwhelmed by the level of professionalism and enthusiasm displayed by the Nigerian Air Force.
“From what we have observed, we can see a platform of collaboration through which we can put more effort to ensure that we built a formidable air force in Africa.”
Lt.-Col. Toure Abdelaziz , Deputy Chief of Air Staff of Niger Republic, said his country would like to partner with NAF in training and maintenance of military equipment.
“The air expo is very rich and we saw the capabilities of the Nigerian Air Force and therefore, seek collaboration in training and maintenance”, Abdelaziz said.
Our correspondent reports that service chiefs from 22 countries, participated in the one-week event.
Some of the participants came from Uganda, Pakistan, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana, Guinea Bissau and the Republic of South Africa.
Also in attendance were Rwanda, Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Senegal, Brazil and India.