Minister of Science and Technology, Omobola Johnson has described products and innovations from military research and development as immensely important in developing the economy of the country.
The Minister spoke today in Abuja at the first ‘Nigerian Air Force Inter-Command and Most Innovative Research and Development Projects Competition and Exhibition.’
According to her, “Such research and development initiative would not only enhance the knowledge and skill of NAF personnel, it will also assist the Service and the nation to better utilize available resources and boost the economy.”
The Minister noted that, the collaboration between the Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Universities and other participants in the exhibition is inspiring.
Remarking, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh said the Air Force would have been comatose without research and innovation by using locally manufactured technologies to keep Air Force planes flying.
Air Marshall Badeh added that, the decision to look inwards and come up with innovative ways of locally manufacturing spare parts for the Air Force is timely because of the current cash strap in the nation.
In his speech, the Air Force Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Air vice Marshall Sadique Abubakar said the objective of the programme is to build credible and sustainable capacity, optimize local content on products and operational equipment.
He also said the programme enhances operational effectiveness and efficiency of our platforms, which ultimately helps to conserve foreign exchange, adding that it will “bridge the gulf between conception and inception of innovative ideas.”
The Training Command of the Air Force emerged winner as most innovative of all the products exhibited by the various Air Force Commands and participating Nigerian Universities.
The Training Command came first ahead of the Tactical Air Command and Logistics Command who emerged second and third place respectively.
The winners were selected on the second day of the exhibition by a panel of experts who assessed the impact of their technological innovations and its relevance to the Air Force.
Some of the products exhibited include; unmanned ground vehicle for identification and disposal of improvised explosive devices, Air Craft battery compartment modification, and pilot seat inspection Jig with voice prompt.