By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives Committee on Air Force, Chaired Muhammed Koko on Thursday called for a quick deployment of security apparatus to Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states in order to nip in the bud the perennial security challengers in this areas.
Koko made this know during the committees budget defence of the Nigeria Air Force held at the National Assembly.
He stressed that establishing a quick Response Wing (QRW) in Kebbi State Which has two international borders of Benin Republic and Niger Republic will assist in curtailing increased insecurity challenges in the area.
The Chairman further reiterated that the committee will do all within its powers to sustain the good work by ensuring adequate budgetary provision is given to this sector during the period of budget process.
“We shall, therefore consider the proposals in such a manner to ensure continuity, consistency and that the interest of the Nigeria people is paramount.
The Nigeria Air Force as a critical sector of our national security and development has always maintained a cordial understanding with our Committee in our bid to move this country forward,” he added.
Responding, the Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar said that over the years, the Nigeria Air Force has been faced with security challenges and thus have engaged with criminal elements trying to undermine the country’s security.
He said that the Air Force is about to acquire two helicopters from Italy and should be in Nigeria by December.
“We have so far employed over 10,000 Nigeria youth into the Air Force in the last four years, about 600 graduates and we are all also about to engage 120 graduates in the area of employment.
“Also in the area of pilot training we have been able to train over 100 pilots and we are grateful to all the supports from the National Assembly,” he stated.
Abubakar therefore assured the committee of the Air Force readiness to tackle the issue of insecurity facing the country.
In a related development, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General, Tukur Buratai, has appealed to the National Assembly to prevail on the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning to exempt the Army from the current envelope budgeting system.
Buratai made the plea while defending the 2020 budget of the Army before the House of Representatives Committee on Army.
According to the Army boss, it has become necessary due to the ongoing structural changes and volatile security challenges as well as massive engagement of troops in virtually almost the 36 states of the Federation.
Buratai who lamented that only 40 percent of the 2019 capital component of the Army’s budget has been released, called on the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning to release the remaining balance to enable the army procure the much needed equipment and platforms to effectively prosecute the ongoing counter terrorism operations.