By OKOSUN DENNIS
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has okayed plans to utilize aluminium sheets and shoes produced by beneficiaries of the Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA) skills acquisition programme.
After a rigorous five months’ training at the institution in Lagos, the 150 barrack youths and widows who were enrolled into the scheme graduated on Thursday at Ikeja Air Force Base with a recommendation to start using their product.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, who congratulated them, expressed satisfaction at the quality of the shoes, boots and aluminium produced.
The CAS said, “NAF would work out modalities to ensure that the flat shoes were supplied to all female officers, Air Women, while the boots would be amended to suit the force’ approved camouflage and supplied to recruits.
“I want to say that you are contributing to the development of the society and also ensuring we are successful in the fight against terrorism.
“Though you are not with us in the battle front, carrying riffles or flying helicopters but I want to tell you that what you are doing in our bases is positively impacting on our operations all over the country.
“You have done so much in terms of supporting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the contributions you are making monthly and voluntary contributions that personal are making.
“I also understand that similar skills acquisition programmes have been done in Makurdi, Kaduna, Maiduguri and also planning another one in Port Hacourt.
“These programmes, I must say, are very significant because they key into our idea of providing for the welfare of air men/women and officers of the NAF.
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“So this skill acquisition which targets youths and widows in the barrack is playing an important role because with this kind of program, we get less distractions from officers and men of NAF deployed to the field.
“I have directed the logistic branch to immediately discuss with the people making the shoes so that we can get it for all female officers and air women in the office.
“Another thing I saw was the boots and all we need to do is to change the camouflage to the one that is approved for the Air Force and we can buy for our recruits that are training in Kaduna.
At the event were the wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, wife of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mrs. Bello Abba-Kyari.
Also was the AOC, Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Ibrahim Yahaya, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, among others.
Mrs. Ambode said the initiative would bring stability in the lives of the beneficiaries and would have multiplier effect.
“The best thing that can happen to our youths and others in need of jobs, is a programme like this, that brings succour and hope of sustainable engagement for regular income, She emphasized.
Earlier in her welcome address, NAWOFA President, Hajiya Abubakar said the completion of the fourth skills acquisition programme was another hallmark in the association’s achievements.
She added that 600 persons have benefited from the scheme in less than a year.
“This is another hallmark in the achievements of NAFOWA in our quest to serve humanity better, empower the less privilege and carryout meaningful programmes that add value to human existence.
Hajiya Abubakar added that, “Previous trainings done across the country and activities of daily living in different barracks have shown that certain trades and occupation are in high demand.
“Such trades are confectionery, computer services, cable television installation, shoe making and repairs, tailoring and make-up artistry.
“Our experiences have proven that these trades are easily converted to cash making and sustainable enterprises as almost every resident is in need of one of the services or the other,” She added.