Participants at the just concluded Technology and Innovation Expo 2018 have expressed absolute delight over the innovativeness and achievements of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the area of Research and Development (R&D). The NAF, which was invited by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to the 5-day exhibition, had on display various innovative products such as the Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), Air Marshal SB Abubakar Aviation Power Pack and Hydraulic Diaphragm for the Mi-Series Helicopter. The exhibition, which held from 5-9 March 2018 at the Eagle Square Abuja, had as its theme, “Fast Tracking Sustainable Development of Nigeria Through Science and Technology”.
Apart from showcasing its innovative products, the NAF was also invited as an assessor along with other reputable research organisations and members of the academia due to its immense contributions and progress in Science and Technology. The products on display were the efforts of the Air Force Research and Development Centre and the Air Force Institute of Technology in partnership with universities and Research Institutions in the country. The event was attended by representatives of various Research institutes, industries, schools and private organisations.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the Exhibition were attended by His Excellency, the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu among other dignitaries. The NAF Research Team was led by the Director of Research and Development, Group Captain Ahmed Shinkafi, who also delivered the goodwill message on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, during the Engineering Day organised by National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) at the event. At the end of the exhibition, certificates of participation and prizes were presented to participants.
As part of efforts towards reinforcing the culture of self-reliance and prudent management of resources, the current NAF leadership has recorded unprecedented feats in R&D. Only recently, the NAF inducted its indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) nicknamed, TSAIGUMI as part of its resolve to promote innovation and enhance its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. It would be recalled that the NAF emerged the overall best in the Research Institutions category of the National Technology and Innovation Expo in 2017.