The Commandant, Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT, Isiyaka Bukar, has disclosed that the institute will soon delve into manufacturing of aircraft spare parts.
He said the move was aimed at meeting the technical needs of the Nigeria Air Force
Mr Bukar therefore urged members of the National Assembly to pass the institute’s enabling bill, to allow it function optimally.
“The immediate passage of the bill will enable the institute key properly into the local content development policy of the Federal Government,’’ Mr Bukar, an Air Vice Marshal, said in an interview in Kaduna.
He noted that the bill had suffered many setbacks over the years, and urged the present members of the Assembly to make history by passing the bill establishing the institution.
He stressed that, AFIT, had since inception, graduated 5, 680 students.
The commandant explained that when the bill establishing the institute becomes law, it would help reduce funding challenges, enable it recruit lecturers and acquire more than equipment to facilitate its research works.
Mr Bukar disclosed that the school, which runs courses in areas such as aircraft maintenance also conducts Aviation Licence Courses for the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.
He acknowledged the efforts of the Nigeria Air Force in funding the institution over the years, saying “since the coming of this administration, funds are being made available in spite of the recession; we have benefited immensely.”
Mr Bukar also spoke on the local content policy of the government, saying the institute would continue to be fully involved.
“During our last convocation attended by Minister of Transportation, we displayed some of our students’ research works and the NAF identified one of the projects for surveillance system and we are developing it for them.
“So, we are fully involved in the local content policy of the Federal Government and we are going to render full support to enhance the operational capacity of the NAF.
“If aircraft are on ground you cannot operate, so we are happy of the policy of looking inwards and AFIT will discharge its responsibility in that direction.’’
According to him, the institute is meeting its mandate to the Nigeria Air Force and the country in producing technical manpower and support to enhance service capability and efficiency.
He cited some of the efforts of the institute to include producing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, now being upgraded to serve the nation better.
“In addition, researches by AFIT students have been utilised in the field including aircraft maintenance, and presently, we have two or three projects we are handling for the Nigeria Air Force,” he said.
The commandant added that AFIT was involved in backward integration technology to meet the challenges of acquiring spare parts for aging aircraft in the country.
“We are therefore involved mostly in repairs and fabrication of some parts in our workshops. We are making plans to have latest manufacturing equipment to improve our capacity to manufacture spare parts; our focus is to get fully involved in reverse engineering.
“Most countries that don’t have the resources, what they do is to take a component, modify and redesign it to serve them.
“If we get these facilities, definitely, they will help us in reverse engineering and help modify our existing components,’’ he said.