The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar Wednesday said a total of 22 aircraft were recently added into the inventory of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to support various on-going military operations across the country, particularly the fight against Boko Haram Terrorists.
According to Abubakar, as at July 2015, the aircraft serviceability status of the Nigerian Air Force was below 60 percent, but as at date, the aircraft serviceability status has improved beyond 80 percent.
Abubakar made the remarks while declaring open the NAF Finance Training Workshop with the theme “Strenghtening the NAF Finance Specialty for Efficient Service Delivery in Support of NAF Operations”, at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
The Air Chief who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal M A Mohammed said the NAF has been able to deploy its platforms in support of military operations through prudent management of resources.
He added that the NAF was not only striving to improve on the present status, but has complied with measures put in place by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure transparency and accountability in governance.
“In line with the anti-corruption drive of Mr. President, Commander-in-Chief, the Nigerian Air Force has complied with measures put in place by the Federal Government to aide transparency in government’s financial transactions such as the Treasury Single Account, Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, as well as the ongoing biometric data capture for the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, just to mention a few”, Air Marshal Abubakar stated.
He further said: “The recent feats achieved by the Service cost a lot of money. For the Government to continue providing the necessary funds to support Nigerian Air Force operations, it behoves on you to continue to maintain high level of integrity as finance personnel in the management of these public funds.
“It is pertinent to state that despite a decline in governmental allocation, the Nigerian Air Force alongside sister Services have been able to achieve commendable successes in counterinsurgency and the fight against armed banditry plaguing various regions of the Country.
“The Nigerian Air Force has been able to effectively deploy its platforms to these areas in support of sister Services. This much was achieved through prudent management of resources allocated to the Service and strict compliance with procurement laws”
In his remarks at the event, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, said deficit financing of the nation’s budgets over the years have remained a challenge in tackling various commitments of government, stressing that five major countries of the world that topped security and military spending have continued to increase their budgets for security and military because of increasing security challenges.
Malam Idris who was represented by Alhaji Mohammed K Usman said: “It is a known fact that in recent years, our nation is faced with obvious security challenges that, if not because of the tenacity of the Government, the situation would have been so unnerving and overwhelming especially if one weigh in paucity of funds and our other politico-economic challenges.
“If the situation is juxtaposed against other contending sectors yearning for attention in terms of provision of social services and infrastructure, then the monster in the challenge of security funding cannot be more unveiled. The Nation must therefore deeply think and come up with appropriate funding template that would provide stability towards the delicate balancing of national priorities.
“Our national Appropriation had been majorly deficit- budgeted for so many years now. This simply means that the revenue projections were lower than the projected expenditure; therefore Government had to depend on borrowings in order to, substantially part-finance the annual Appropriation over the years.