By Doris Esa
Abuja – The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is set to strengthen already existing ties with the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh to enhance its capacity building drive.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Daramola said the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, revealed this on Thursday when the Bangladesh Ambassador to Nigeria, Shameem Ahsan, visited his office at the Headquarters NAF, Abuja.
The air chief, who expressed delight to receive the Ambassador in his office, noted that Bangladesh had always been a friend of the NAF.
He said Bangladesh has been providing training opportunities for selected NAF personnel for Junior and Senior Staff Courses as well as the National Defence Course.
The air chief added that the NAF was willing to take the collaboration further so as to learn from Bangladesh’s experience in other areas including pilot training and Research and Development ( R&D).
He equally observed that the NAF was willing to embark on Faculty exchange programmes between the Air Force War College, Makurdi, and her counterparts in Bangladesh.
The CAS noted that the ongoing rapid expansion of the NAF Medical Services was aimed at providing better healthcare services for its personnel, their families and host communities.
He said the Service would, therefore, like to take advantage of opportunities in Bangladesh to bolster the capacity of its medical personnel to enable them more effectively man these facilities.
Responding, the Bangladesh Ambassador expressed his country’s readiness to further deepen the already existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Bangladesh.
He assured the CAS of the Bangladesh Government’s commitment to continue to collaborate with the NAF in all the areas of mutual interest.
The areas of collaboration to be explored include basic fighter pilot training, helicopter pilot training, research and development (R&D), and training of Aviation Medicine personnel as well as other relevant fields that would enhance service delivery.
The NAF had established a Reference Hospital in Bauchi and upgraded the NAF Hospitals in Port Harcourt and Lagos to Reference Hospitals, and was on the verge of inaugurating a new Reference Hospital in Daura.