By Chinedu James
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his commitment to a greater Nigeria through the provision of national infrastructure and technological innovations.
The president spoke in Kaduna while on a working visit and during the commissioning of a surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), produced locally by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Institute of Technology.
The UAV code-named TSAIGUMI has a mission range of 100 km, a service ceiling at 15,000 feet and operational endurance of about 10 hours and is the first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to be produced in the country and will be used in the fight against terrorism and other sophisticated crimes.
“Government remains determined, despite numerous challenges, to bring about the much-needed CHANGE that will lift our beloved nation to its rightful place as a major economic and political force on the world stage.
“Part of our drive to achieve this goal is to enable enterprise and the improvement of the quality of life through massive improvement of national infrastructure.
“Accordingly, as I outlined in my New Year Day broadcast to the nation, this administration has designed series of key projects to dramatically overhaul national infrastructure and overcome the deficit in that vital area,” he said.
According to him, the technological feat is an indication that there is potential to apply the same innovative mindset to addressing other areas of indigenous technological needs.
“While I commend the Nigerian Air Force for this accomplishment, I enjoin you not to rest on this achievement but to strive harder in your research and development efforts for greater innovation. Be assured of this administration’s support towards the attainment of greater technological milestones for our nation,’’ the president added.
The President while speaking commended the leadership of the Nigerian Air force NAF for the remarkable feat and also reiterated his administration’s efforts to guarantee national peace and security.
“The role of the military as an enabler of national development cannot be overemphasized, as efforts would be futile if national security is not first guaranteed.
“Let me again commend the Nigerian Air Force leadership for the unprecedented feat it has attained on Research and Development.I am aware that the Air Force was the overall best in the recently concluded 2017 National Technology and Innovation Exposition under Research Institute category,” he said.
“Accordingly, its drive, determination and unwavering support brought about numerous significant innovations, not least of which is the TSAIGUMI which I am inducting today.It is indeed most gratifying that the Nigerian Air Force NAF has gone a step further than simply acquiring them, to developing unmanned aerial vehicle capabilities with indigenous technology.
“This outstanding accomplishment, which we are gathered today, holds promise of both military and economic benefit to the nation,’’ he added.
Dr Ogboonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, who was also present at the induction ceremony, described the invention of the UAV by the Nigerian Air Force, as a milestone and part of the federal government’s drive to encourage local content.
Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff also pledged NAF’s readiness and support to harness, promote, commercialise and diffuse locally developed technologies for the production of globally competitive goods and services that intensively utilise Nigeria’s raw materials for national development.
Image: The Nation