The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, says the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) remains a key enabler to the successful implementation of the 8-point agenda of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.
A statement issued by the NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, on Wednesday said the minister said this when she paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar.
Edu said that President Bola Tinubu had remained committed to reducing the number of Nigerians in dire need of humanitarian assistance irrespective of their location.
She said the commitment would only be realisable if the ministry could have easy access to some of the victims who reside in inaccessible areas.
According to her, it is in view of the difficulty experienced in gaining access to these locations that she was at the NAF Headquarters to seek for assurance and solicit for assistance in the delivery of relief materials to the needy in areas hindered by difficult terrains or insecurity.
The minister promised that families of NAF veterans as well as those who paid the supreme price while on active duty would be captured in the new expanded poverty alleviation programme set to be rolled out in some weeks to come.
She called for the establishment of a humanitarian desk officer at Headquarters NAF for ease of liaison with her Ministry during the compilation and submission of the list of beneficiaries to ensure that the appropriate NAF beneficiaries were captured under the programme.
Edu commended the NAF for its assistance to the ministry and its parastatals in the areas of casualty evacuation, distribution of relief materials as well as evacuation of stranded Nigerians in conflict areas overseas.
Responding, Air Marshal Abubakar said the NAF and the ministry had a long history of collaboration either directly or through its numerous agencies.
Abubakar assured the minister of NAF’s readiness and willingness to assist her achieve the mandate of the Ministry and called for effective coordination which, he said, was the cornerstone of any successful humanitarian operation.
He also proposed some key areas where NAF and the ministry could strengthen their partnership.
According to him, the two organisations can partner in the areas of joint training and capacity building as well as optimise disaster response protocols to enable us act swiftly, minimise duplication of efforts and ensure more efficient allocation of resources.
He added that close collaboration would ensure that aid get to those in need in a timely and efficient manner.
The minister, who was accompanied by senior officials of her ministry, also took time out to lay a wreath at the NAF Memorial arcade.