The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied media reports saying the contractual agreement for the supply of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft by the U.S., for which payment had been made, was in jeopardy due to bad runway at the 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 ACTG), Kainji, Niger.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF headquarters, Ibikunle Daramola, made the denial in a statement on Monday in Abuja
According to Mr Daramola, the reports, which were purportedly drawn from remarks made by the Vice Chairperson Senate Committee on NAF, while briefing the Senate Appropriation Committee on the 2021 NAF Budget proposal, were clearly taken out of context.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is necessary to state that the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft project is on track to be delivered on schedule and in accordance with the terms of the contract.
“Currently, six of the expected 12 aircraft have been produced and are presently being employed for conversion training of six NAF pilots, who are in the U.S., along with 26 NAF engineers.
“Some are technicians and logisticians, who are also undergoing various trainings on the aircraft as part of the provisions of the contract. Another set of 35 personnel are also scheduled to join them early in 2021.
“In addition, a team from the U.S. is currently in Kainji, overseeing the construction of critical infrastructure provided in the contract, ahead of the delivery of the aircraft,” Mr Daramola said.
However, the about 40-year old 407 ACTG Kainji runway, which had been in use for more than the years estimated as its lifespan, had been earmarked for resurfacing, he said.
He said the National Assembly through the Senate and House Committees on Nigerian Air Force, as well as the federal government, were working strenuously to secure funding for the resurfacing.
Mr Daramola also disclosed that the U.S. Government, on its part, had also assured of its commitment to deliver the 12 aircraft within the agreed timelines.
He said the service was working to provide the necessary infrastructure needed to ensure that the aircraft are effectively utilised upon arrival in the country.
”NAF, therefore, wishes to appreciate its Senate and House Committees and other agencies of the Federal Government for their continued support that had enabled the service to fulfil its constitutional roles,” the NAF spokesperson said
He also appreciated the U.S. government for its support and commitment to ensuring the success of the Super Tucano project.
Mr Daramola also thanked the media for their usual support, while calling for caution in their reporting so as not to raise unnecessary alarm.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...