In furtherance of his administration’s investment drive, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Wednesday appealed to the Nigerian Air Force to allow the state government take over the Force’s piece of land located near the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu to be used by an indigenous airline, Air Peace Limited for the establishment of a world standard Aircraft Maintenance Facility in the state.
Ugwuanyi, who made the appeal at the Government House, Enugu when the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, paid him a courtesy visit, stated that the request was “in line with the state government’s aspiration to create an Aviation Hub that would support the policies of the Federal Government towards the development of the Aviation Sector”.
The governor disclosed that the appeal was sequel to an earlier request to the Nigerian Air Force by his administration, adding that the state government had promised to give the Force “an alternative piece of land of equal or even larger size in Enugu in exchange”.
Emphasizing the importance of the proposed Aircraft Maintenance Facility towards the economic development of the state and the country at large, Gov. Ugwuanyi stressed that “in granting this request, the NAF would be making yet another outstanding contribution to the development of the nation’s aviation sector in addition to its traditional roles”.
The Chief of Air Staff was in Enugu for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Headquarters Complex, Ground Training Command, Nigerian Air force Base, Enugu, which was performed by the governor at a colourful event.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Gov. Ugwuanyi commended the Federal Government for its efforts towards ensuring that the Armed Forces are well equipped to combat the security challenges facing the country.
He thanked the Chief of Air Staff and the hierarchy of the Nigerian Air Force, for the decision to site the headquarters of the new command in Enugu, disclosing that it “will undoubtedly help to reinforce the atmosphere of peace and security in the state and which in turn, stimulates rapid socio-economic development”.
“As a government, we have always enjoyed a very cordial working relationship and strategic partnership with the Nigerian Air Force through its formations and establishments in the State”, Gov. Ugwuanyi said, while reassuring the Force of his administration’s continued support and cooperation towards the success of the command.
The governor gave credit to the Air Force and other security agencies in the state for the enviable status Enugu has earned as “one of the safest and most secure states in the country”.
In his address, the Chief of Air Staff expressed delight at the governor’s cooperation and support to the Nigerian Air Force, noting that the new command in Enugu was “very strategic” towards the peace and security of the country.
Air Marshall Abubakar disclosed the Force’s plan to establish a hospital in Enugu that will take care of its personnel and some neighboring communities, adding that there will be “a special intervention on upgrade of our secondary schools” in the state to improve the standard of learning.
He assured that the Enugu Command will take off “very soon”.