. . . as Chief of Air Staff Pays Courtesy Visit
By Uche Amunike
In a bid to project government’s initiatives of improving local content in various government operations and processes, the Chief of Air Staff of the Nigerian Air force, Sadique Abubakar, paid a courtesy visit to the Ibeto Group of Companies at Nnewi, Tuesday 5th November, where he inspected the company’s facilities.
Speaking during a closed door meeting with the management of the Ibeto Group, Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force in supporting the company even as he promised greater security for our country Nigeria.
After his tour of the facilities with his entourage, he expressed satisfaction at the structure that the Ibeto Group had put on ground and demanded that a technical committee from the Research and Development Department of the Nigerian Air Force and the Ibeto Group be set up, to look into the facilities of the Air Force, including batteries and lubricants, while maintaining that the collaboration would go a long way to aid in procuring maintenance equipment for aircrafts.
According to him, it would save the Force the ordeal of having to wait for months to get these items from outside the shores of the country and also aid in providing employment opportunities for our youths, while saving foreign exchange and enhancing production.
On his part, the Chairman of Ibeto Group, Chief Clement Ibeto, who was represented by his Executive Director, Management and Operations, Chief Eze Ezechesi, expressed his delight that a Chief of Air Staff finally gave a nod to the use of local content for the operations of the Nigeria Air Force. In his words, ‘I want to put it on record that you happen to be the first among the over 20 Chiefs of Air Staff that has given emphasis on the use of locally produced materials for their operations’.
The Executive Director of Union Autoparts Manufacturing Ltd, Mr Vincent Ejike did a presentation where he listed some of the challenges encountered by the company in their line of duty. These challenges include dumping of sub-standard batteries and lubricants from China and the UAE which affects the ability of their company to penetrate the local market due to the price differences, the government’s lack of commitment in protecting loca of manufacturers, low patronage and continued export of used batteries and lead scraps.
The Head of Marketing and Sales for Ibeto Petrochemicals, Mr Clement Ayo in his interview with Fides, hoped that the partnership with the Nigerian Air Force will aid in reducing the depleted foreign exchange and help in improving their skills, in order to fully meet with the demands of the equipments of the lubricants. His words: ‘It will make Nigeria to be more self-sufficient in whatever activities that they currently embark on’.