Abuja – The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Tuesday commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for restoring peace and giving hope to many parts of the country.
Bello made the commendation while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Air Force led by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in his office in Abuja.
Bello said that the armed forces had diligently worked to stamp out the activities of insurgents in the North East as well as criminal activities in other parts of the country.
“You have restored hope at least to so many parts of this country”.
Bello said that the intervention of men and officers of the armed forces during the last few months in the North East and South-South, respectively deserved commendation.
The minister particularly praised the military for the planned aerial surveillance of Abuja-Kaduna Road; Abuja-Jos Road as well as Abuja-Lokoja Road.
According to him, the action will go a long way in ensuring security of motorists on these busy roads.
“I assure you that this additional support you want to give in terms of aerial surveillance of the major arteries into the territory is a welcome development.
“If there are new areas you want to partner with us in terms of support, we are available.’’
Bello said that he appreciated the wonderful relationship that the FCTA and Nigerian Air Force had maintained, adding that it would be sustained.
“The Air Force as an institution has been a very important agent of development in this nation and you have done tremendously well for the country over the years.”
Commenting on the plan of the service to provide houses for the lower ranks, the minister said that the initiative was very timely and in line with the FCT Administration’s general vision and focus.
“Last week, we held an interactive meeting with officials of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
“We told them in clear terms that any new land we provide for mass housing will now really be geared towards the lower income level,” he said.
Bello said that over the last few years, private individuals and estate developers had built a lot of houses in Abuja.
“But all tended to cater for the high end market and as a result, most of these houses are still unoccupied and have remained a big challenge.’’
Earlier, the Chief of Air Staff lauded the excellent relationship between the Air Force and the FCTA.
He said that as a service, the Nigeria Air Force had the responsibility to ensure that every inch of the Nigerian territory was secured and also safe for people to go about their legitimate aspirations.
Abubakar also said that the Air Force would continue to do everything humanly possible in support of other security agencies, particularly the Police, which is constitutionally empowered to handle the issues of internal security.
He thanked the minister for all the titles the force had received for its landed properties in Abuja.
“The service is looking at addressing the welfare needs of officers and men, particularly the air men who deserve some attention in the area of ensuring that their welfare is well taken care of.
“That is why we are looking at a way of coming up with non-commissioned officers’ housing programme.
“This is a programme that is aimed at giving opportunities to non-commissioned officers to also have opportunities to own a house by the time they leave the service.”
Abubakar said the Air Force would continue to function in line with its constitutional responsibilities and continue to collaborate with other security agencies to ensure that the FCT remained safe and secured. (NAN)