L-R: Prof. Aibinu, representative of the VC, Dr. Olutoye and Prof. Makun displaying their awards after the event at the NAF Base, Makurdi
In recognition of the University’s mission of scaling up research in the country aimed at providing solution to societal problems, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has honoured the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Professors Anthony Hussieni Makun and Abiodun Musa Aibinu in appreciation of their committed contributions to the growth of research and development in NAF.
The awards were presented during the Nigerian Air Force 53rd Gala/Awards Night held at the Officer’s Mess, NAF Base, Makurdi, Benue State.
Speaking at the event, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshall Sadique Baba Abubakar said the theme for this year’s celebration “Employment of Air Power for Enduring National Security” was well thought out in view of the fight against insurgency and other security challenges in the country.
The Chief of Air Staff stated that the Nigerian Air Force has contributed immensely to the sustenance of peace and national security in the country based on the successes recorded by NAF fighter jets in the North-East against the dreaded Boko Haram sect, adding that NAF, with the support of other West African countries, was able to restore peace and peaceful democratic transition in Gambia.
The Air Force Boss reiterated the commitment of NAF to research collaborations with tertiary institutions and other experts in the country with the view of finding solutions to its research needs.
He congratulated FUT, Minna and other universities for working with the Nigerian Air Force, stating that the partnership has boosted the operational efficiency of NAF.
Speaking with Campus News after the event, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Musbau Adewumi Akanji, FNSBMB, FAS expressed delight with the Nigerian Air Force for honouring the University while disclosing that the institution would continue to support all research oriented programmes of NAF for the benefit of Nigeria.
Prof. Akanji who was represented at the event by the Deputy Director, Directorate of Research, Innovation and Development (DRID), Dr. Moses Olutoye disclosed that Nigerian universities and FUT, Minna in particular have the capacity to address all the research problems of the military and tasked investors to sponsor the development of several research prototypes developed by researchers in Nigeria.
Also speaking with Campus News, the University Director, Directorate of Research, Innovation and Development (DRID), Prof. Makun stated that the award is a reward for the University’s commitment to research and development, and also is an indication that FUT, Minna has come of age in terms of research.
The Director of DRID dedicated the award to all the Nigerian soldiers who have lost their lives in the fight against insurgency and commended the University Management for their support to the growth of research.
Commenting on the award, the Director, Centre for Open Distance and e-Learning (CODeL) and Head, Department of Mechatronic Engineering, FUT, Minna Prof. Aibinu said the award would spur him to work harder towards making the University a hub for research in the country.
Nigerian rapper, Idris Abdulkareem, the Nigeria jaga jaga crooner was on ground to entertain guests at the event.
Against the backdrop of the fight against insurgency and other security challenges, the Nigerian Airforce also inducted two latest versions of the Mi-35 all-weather heavy assault gunship/attack helicopters, among others in Makurdi as part of the events lined up to mark the 53rdanniversary celebration. Other events were air weapon meet, aerial and static display, medical outreach for all communities living around the NAF Base, ceremonial parade and inter-denominational service amongst others.