The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar, said plans have been concluded by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for the deployment of a special mission aircraft to Benin, Edo State, to secure the maritime environment.
Abubakar, who disclosed this during an on-the-spot assessment of the facilities at the Benin Unit of the NAF Base on Saturday, said the deployment of the aircraft would add value to the security arrangements in the maritime environment.
“I am happy with the level of your contribution as a unit to ensure our country is safe and secured. The ATR42 aircraft which operates from Benin is all over the country. It was in Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna and right now as I speak, the 930 aircraft is flying in the North East. So, clearly, your unit is contributing significantly to what we are doing to ensure that our country is secured and our people can pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear.
“The Federal Government is deploying additional air assets to Benin and that is why we are here and this will happen very soon. We are here to look at the infrastructure available and to also determine the gaps. The hanger facility is adequate from what we have seen, but there will be need for aircraft shelter and other ground support equipment, in order for you to make the operation of the aircraft possible. In addition to that, many pilots, technicians and engineering officers will be posted to Benin. Of course, where you have aircraft pilots and technicians, you will always have the force protection personnel; that is the Air Force Special Forces,” he said.