By Tunde Oguntola, Abuja
Authorities of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and that of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) have put in place machinery to further deepen their relationship so as to sustain an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and other allied collaborations in the areas of engineering, meteorology and digital sciences.
The MoU, part of which include maintenance and repairs of (NAF) Aircrafts signed about five years ago, allowed Engineers from FUTA to be deployed to join a team that successfully repair some NAF aircrafts that developed problems in Port-Harcourt.
Leading a team from the Air Force High Command to explore ways of deepening the collaboration, Chief of Air Staff, NAF, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, represented by Chief of Standard and Evaluation, NAF, Air Vice Marshall Kingsley Lar reiterated the readiness of NAF to tap into the expertise of FUTA in areas of the University’s core competence in cutting edge technological innovation and research.
He said the vision of the Nigerian Air Force is to reform its operations through capacity building and it believes such can be sought from reputable higher institutions like FUTA. He added that the MoU signed a few years ago has been of mutual benefit to the two parties.
Responding, the vice-chancellor, FUTA, Prof. Joseph Fuwape said FUTA has the capacity to collaborate with the NAF and several reputable organisations.
He said FUTA has competent Engineering Departments that are second to none in the country.
He said the NAF can benefit from FUTA’s technical know-how in meteorology and climate science, Space Research and applications and allied fields.
Fuwape told his guests that FUTA, in collaboration with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) is the first Institution to launch a satellite in Nigeria and has capacity to develop digital map of any environment which will be of great help to the Air Force in its operations.
The Vice-Chancellor commended the effort of the men of the Air Force for their role in suppressing the activities of Boko Haram in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria. Speaking relatedly the director, Center for Space and Research Applications (CESRA) Prof. Joseph Akinyede said FUTA has been in partnership with Air Force for quite a long time and also in partnership with Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NMA).
The director of West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Prof. Kehinde Ogunjobi expressed the readiness of WASCAL to train Air Force officers at postgraduate levels.