The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen Bashir Magashi, has tasked the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), to upscale research and development with a view to boosting the nation’s air capabilities.
Magashi made the call when the Commandant of the institute, Air Vice Marshal Musbau Olatunji, paid him a courtesy visit with his management team on Friday in Abuja.
The Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Publicity, Mr Mohammad Abdulkadri, said this in a statement on Friday.
He urged the institute to deepen its research towards meeting the nation’s demands for locally produced military hardware and equipment and change the narrative of over dependent on foreign technologies.
The Minister pledged to support the institute in its developmental strides to grow the national air power for self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
He also promised to channel the needs of the school to President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the president had approved the upgrading of AFIT to a degree awarding institution.
Magashi urged the management of AFIT to remain focused in pursuing the objectives for which the institute was established in 1977 before it was upgraded to university status in 2018.
He pledged to drum support for the institution to enable it to enjoy take-off grants like other universities, adding that the level of buy-in by the government would be determined by its output and performance.
Earlier, AFIT Commandant, AVM Olatunji, appealed for support to bridge the infrastructural gap in the school, which he said had forced the management to cut down the number of students.
He said the facilities in the school were already over stretched.
The commandant said the institute currently had a population of about 5,000 students and five faculties.
He said it was on the threshold of meeting the academic and infrastructural requirements of the National Universities Commission (NUC), to graduate its first batch of the 300 level degree students. (NAN)