The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commissioned the newly resuscitated Machine Tools Workshop at its Base in Makurdi, in line with ongoing efforts towards robust logistics support and maintenance culture to sustain platforms and equipment serviceability, one of the key drivers of the vision of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. According to the CAS, the import of this key driver “is to increase self-sufficiency, reduce dependence on foreign organizations for maintenance of military hardware and saving of foreign exchange for Nigeria. Machine tools enable the fabrication of some aircraft parts, thereby facilitating effective and efficient repairs of especially aircraft airframes. Accordingly, the newly commissioned Machine Tools Workshop would be invaluable to some of the processes through which the NAF sustains its equipment and platform serviceability.
Today’s event, which took place at 131 Engineering Group, Makurdi, is one of the numerous benefits from the strategic partnerships between the NAF and several universities in Nigeria, as facilitated by the incumbent NAF leadership. Other benefits derived from the collaboration include the modification of the antiskid system of the Alpha Jet aircraft, construction of test benches, receipt of 2 patent rights and emergence of the NAF as the best overall research institution at the 2017 Nigeria Technology and Innovation Expo, among others. According to Air Marshal Abubakar, more than 6 research projects are currently ongoing in partnership with universities and research institutions in the country, which conforms to another key driver namely “strategic partnership with MDAs for enhanced Research and Development..
The Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Idris, expressed appreciation to the CAS for ensuring the reactivation of the machines in the Workshop, through collaboration with the University of Maiduguri, 25 years after they were abandoned. The machines were renovated in a record time of 4 weeks and at a much lower amount compared to the quotations received from different companies. The commissioning ceremony was also used to induct the first set of trainees to benefit from the newly introduced Machinist Course. The successful trainees would later operate the equipment in the new Workshop and similar workshops in the NAF.