The University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) has expressed its willingness to partner with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the area of training as well as Research and Development (R & D) to support the Service in effectively carrying out its statutory role of defending the nation.
The Vice Chancellor of UNN, Professor Benjamin Ozumba, stated this yesterday, 24 January 2018, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at Headquarters NAF, Abuja.
The Vice Chancellor stated that the University decided to partner with the NAF because of its giant strides in R & D and the consistent display of professionalism in the discharge of its role.
Commending the NAF for its efforts towards attaining self-reliance, Professor Ozumba added that the NAF is one of the Government agencies that are obviously in tune with the changes in the 21st Century.
According to him, the world has gone beyond the era of commodity driven economy to a knowledge-based economy.
He added that the efforts of the current NAF leadership towards improving the knowledge base of its personnel, through sustained R & D activities, were indeed commendable.
The Vice Chancellor therefore reiterated the readiness and capability of the Institution to collaborate with the NAF in all aspects of R & D to ensure that the NAF continues to successfully accomplish its constitutional tasks.
He further disclosed that the UNN had been consistently ranked Number 1 in the Google Scholarly Search in West Africa, for the past 3 years, a testimony of the University’s commitment to academic endeavours.
The Vice Chancellor also announced the plans of UNN to establish a science park towards advancing technological knowledge. Additionally, Professor Ozumba seized the opportunity to invite the NAF to be part of the Institution’s Innovation Conference scheduled for February 2018.
In his response, the CAS stated that the NAF would be willing to partner with UNN in the area of aircraft maintenance, building technology and other relevant fields.
Air Marshal Abubakar further stated that the NAF had, over 5 years ago, identified the need to partner with academic institutions in Nigeria.
Accordingly, the NAF had already signed Memoranda of Understanding with 15 other Nigerian universities and the partnerships had started yielding several benefits, especially in the enhancement of NAF’s aircraft maintenance capacity.
The CAS, therefore, stated the readiness of the NAF to participate in the establishment of the science park at UNN.
He also promised that the NAF would be adequately represented in the Institution’s upcoming Innovation Conference in February this year.
The CAS has already directed that a team of appropriate NAF officers from the Air Force Research and Development Centre as well as from the Air Force Institute of Technology, both in Kaduna, be composed to visit UNN with a view to identifying specific areas of potential partnership between both organizations.
Olatokunbo Adesina, Air Vice Marshal,
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force