Minister of Defence Maj-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (retd) has tasked Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) to upgrade Research and Development (R&D) to meet the nation’s demands for locally produced military hardwares and equipment.
A statement by the minister’s media aide, Mohammad Abdulkadri, quoted Magashi as saying this Friday when the management of AFIT led by its Commandant Air Vice Marshal Musbau Olumide Olatunji paid a courtesy call on him at the Headquarters Ministry of Defence, Ship House Abuja.
He tasked the Management of AFIT to evolve and deploy new R&D as a potent tool to change the narrative of over dependent on foreign technologies and to maximise local expertise in human capital development.
The Minister expressed keen interest to support the Institute in her developmental strides to grow the national Air Power for self-reliance and self – sufficiency.
He promised to channel the needs of the school to President Muhammadu Buhari who albinitio he said approved the upgrading of AFIT to wear the toga of a degree awarding Institution.
While Challenging the management of AFIT to remain focused in pursuing the objectives for which the Institute was established since 1977 and upgraded to its present enviable university status in 2018, he said the Ministry of Defence will drum support for the Institution to enjoy take-off grants like other universities pointing out that the level of buy in by government will be determined by its excellent output and high performance.
Speaking earlier, AVM Olatunji thanked the minister for the audience and appealed for support to mitigate the school’s infrastructural deficit which he said is responsible for pruning down the number of students intakes, because the available facilities are already over stretched.
AVM Olatunji said the Institute which has a population of about five thousand students and five faculties is on the threshold of meeting the academic and infrastructural requirements of the National Universities Commission to graduate her first batch of the 300 level degree students.
Meanwhile, Magashi had assured the Polish Ambassador to Nigeria Ms Joauna TakwAwska who was accompanied by the country’s Defence Attache to Nigeria Colonel Marek Kozera on courtesy call that the proposed Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) on Military bilateral ties between Nigeria and Poland will be re-examined, reviewed and re-jig in the interest of both countries.