By Sani Idris
Kaduna, October 5, 2020 The Nigerian Air Force Investments Limited (NAFIL), on Monday inaugurated an upgraded Air Training Command Officers Mess in Kaduna.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, who inaugurated the facility said the project was fully funded and carried out by NAFIL as part of its mandate to uplift personnel welfare.
The Air Chief, represented by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NAFIL, AVM Abubakar Bagare, said the officers’ mess was left in a state of decay for many years.
“This decay was witnessed under different facility managers who failed to imbibe the long known culture of maintenance and prudent utilization of resources, which the Service holds in high esteem.”
Abubakar said that the renovation and upgrade of the Mess by NAFIL had restored its lost glory to the standard NAF facilities are known for.
He explained that the primary reason for establishing the NAF companies was to cater for the welfare of its personnel and that of their families.
“NAFIL as one of the subsidiaries of the Nigerian Air Force Holding Company, has done very well in the upliftment of personnel welfare.
“The introduction of additional recreational facilities in this Mess for the convenience and relaxation of NAF officers as well as their families and friends is highly commendable,” Abubakar said.
According to him, personnel of a fighting force needed very comfortable and highly befitting mess that provide both appropriate accommodation and entertainment facilities for their wellbeing.
“This upgraded Officers Mess has the potentials to provide such, in view of the modern and highly commendable facilities and innovations NAFIL has put in place for the comfort of its patrons,” the CAS said.
Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Air Training Command (ATC), AVM Musa Mukthar, said that the CAS had recently commissioned two students’ hostel blocks built by NAFIL in Air Force Institute of Technology.
Mukthar, also represented by the ATC’s Chief of Staff, Air Commodore Abraham Adole, thanked the CAS for his approval for the NAFIL portfolios and projects embarked upon in Kaduna.
“Your commitment to the provision of infrastructure and welfare amenities for enhanced operations and personnel comfort, especially within the ATC AOR is indeed very impressive and well appreciated,” Mukthar said.
Also, Air Commodore Uchechi Nwagwu, the Managing Director of NAFIL, said the renovation and upgrade of the mess was one of the latest investment portfolios of NAFIL.
According to him, management of the facilities was one of NAFIL’s efforts at diversification of its portfolios and enhancing its turnover while contributing its quota at meeting the welfare needs of NAF personnel and the general public.
Nwagwu said the company had gradually grown to become a leading investment outfit that manages contributions of NAF personnel.
Nwagwu said NAFIL had earlier forwarded a proposal to NAF Headquarters to take over, renovate and manage the Air Training Command Officers Mess on behalf of the Command.
“This request after intense due diligence, was approved by the CAS with subsequent clearance and funds approval by the NAFIL Board of Directors, the company took over the facility from the ATC,” he said.
He said that the facility was in a great state of disrepair, not befitting the good image of NAF, and had numerous liabilities.
“Among the liabilities included huge financial indebtedness to the Kaduna Electric, tax liabilities to relevant regulatory authorities and several months of unpaid staff salaries,”he said.
Nwagwu, however, said all the liabilities had been cleared and the facility given a clean bill of health by all relevant agencies.
He thanked the management and staff of NAFIL for their selflessness and commitment that led to the timely completion of the project.
The officer commended members of NAFIL Board of Directors for their constant oversight function that led to the prompt work.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the renovated facilities included remodeled rooms fully fitted with befitting furniture for officers’ accommodation.
Others included a fitness and sport centre exclusive for resident guests as well as a bush bar fitted with traditional settings and conveniences for guests needs.
The management had also installed a software for complete automation of transactions with free internet services for resident guests.