By Felix Khanoba
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Equipment and Protective Application International Limited to boost research and development.
The pact which will ensure parties work together in an effort to nurture a cooperative relationship among the institutions, is geared towards optimal performance and improved productivity.
Speaking at the NAF headquarters in Abuja, the Director General, Sir Joseph Ari, said the MOU will be pursued with vigour and all the seriousness it deserves so that greater success would be the catalyst that will drive their intentions.
He explained that over the years, ITF had redirected its focus on technical, vocational training and education, adding that developed nations are where they are today because of such initiative.
“Even here in Abuja, we have a model of a skills training centre and the model was brought in from the Singaporean experience of the institute for technical education and services of Singapore.
“We brought a semblance of it here to experience with five trade areas, Mechatronics and Autotronics, Computer Networking, ICT, Facility Technology as well as culinary in both African and Western cuisine is right there in the heart of Abuja in the ITF house, it is like a University.
“The ITF is well positioned to work hand in hand with the Nigerian Air Force,” he said
The ITF boss added that “I must say that the Chief of Air Staff has a lot of foresight with his men to think of this Memorandum of Understanding because indeed, ITF is where you should be.
“The ITF came into contact with the Nigerian Air Force even though a lot of the officers of the Air Force might have participated in its programmes in the past and since the I have noticed that NAF has not relented in its efforts to equipped its workforce and also upgrade and retrain its people,” the ITF boss added.
He, however, commended men and officers of the NAF for their sacrifice in keeping the nation safe.
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal, Oladayo Amao said the Nigerian Air Force is a highly technical service which placed technology as the bedrock of all its operations.
Represented by the Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Air Vice Marshal, Olusegun Philip, the air chief noted that in line with the focus of the Federal Government in promoting indigenous technology, the Nigerian Air Force has, been looking inwards to gradually wean itself of overdependence on foreign technology and to become more innovative and resourceful.
“Therefore, in order to advance the Nigerian Air Force’s Research and Development efforts, we have deemed it necessary to formally collaborate with indigenous organizations through the signing of Memorandum of Understanding.
“These collaborative efforts provide pedestals to leapfrog capability as well as a repertoire of capabilities that can be harnessed”.
“The collaborative efforts also provide platforms to synergise ideas for innovations that are key to achieving meaningful results to solve the technological challenges we currently face in a cost effective manner” he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Equipment and Protective Application International Limited, Engineer Kola Balogun, assured that the MOU entered into would be for the overall economic benefit and development of the nation.