The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali has said the Presidency, in its bid to reduce cost of running governance in the face of the recession the country is going through and to improve on the successes recorded by the Nigerian Air Force in the fight against insurgency has donated two helicopters to the NAF.
The minister stated this yesterday at the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, during the handing and taking over of two AGUSTAWESTLAND 101 helicopter relinquished by the presidential air fleet to the Nigerian Air Force.
Mansur said this gesture by the President was borne out of the need to reduce cost of running government in the face of the current recess and dwindling economic reality in the country which is also in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘change begins with me’ agenda.
He said the successes recorded by NAF so far in the war against boko haram terrorist in the north east were largely due to availability of serviceable platforms adding that with the addition of two helicopters, more accomplishments will be achieved to decisively win the war against terrorism, insurgency and other forms of criminalities across the country.
In his acceptance remark, the Chief of the Air Staff, (CAS) Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said with this gesture, NAF will remain focused on the fight against insurgency in the north east and militancy in the Niger Delta region.
He said this unconditional support has boosted the capacity of the force noting that the force will reconfigure these helicopters and deploy them for tactical airlift of troops and logistics in support of combat operations.
Earlier in his address, the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen Babagana Mungono said the helicopters handed over to the NAF have ballistic Defence capabilities and are equipped with defensive aid suites against certain forms of missiles attacks.
He said the AW101 is a highly versatile helicopter used in both VIP and military operations.