The Nigerian Air Force Institute of Safety (NAFIS) has graduated the first set of personnel trained in Occupational Health and Safety. The ceremony, which took place yesterday, 1 June 2018, at the recently commissioned Institute’s Headquarters Complex at Rigachikun in Kaduna, witnessed the graduation of 24 personnel. The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has recently renewed emphasis on safety training because of the high premium placed by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on safety and improved productivity.

While congratulating the graduands, the Guest of Honour, the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Mohammed Idris, charged them to remain confident, undaunted and assertive while demonstrating tact in the discharge of their new role as safety professionals. He also urged them to share their new knowledge of occupational health and safety with other personnel in their various units. According to him, “you must be ready at all times to add value to your units, the Service and the society until the world around you becomes a safer place while looking forward to seeing our workplaces become free of accidents and incidents, which is the whole essence of the on-going global Zero Accident Campaign”. He then thanked the CAS for his enormous assistance and support to the Institute, which he said was obviously a result of the Chief’s high interest in improving safety in the NAF.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commandant of the Institute, Air Commodore Edward Adedokun, stated that the course was intended to achieve a better work environment and safer daily operations. He therefore said “by the time safety consciousness becomes a regular feature of our everyday lives, our personnel, equipment, Service and society would be safer each new day”. During the 5 week-course, the graduands were exposed to the NAF’s Safety Policy, Aviation Psychology, Communications Skills, Fundamentals of Safety Processes, Occupational Safety Processes, Industrial Health Management and Human Factors. They were also introduced to causes of errors, violations, mistakes and how to avoid them. With the quality of knowledge imparted on the graduands at NAFIS, the Commandant said he was proud to say that the personnel would be outstanding safety practitioners in the field.

The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of awards of excellence to students who distinguished themselves during the Course. Squadron Leader MA Kanu clinched the CAS Award while Sergeant Afolayan OI and Flight Lieutenant AA Ologun carted away the AOC and Commandant Awards respectively. It would be recalled that the NAF on 25 May 2018 commissioned the newly built Headquarters NAFIS building and other landmark projects at the Institute.

In a related development, another set of 26 officers graduated from the Young Officers’ Course (YOC) at the Military Training Centre (MTC) NAF Base Kaduna. The 3-month course was aimed at improving the capacity of the young NAF officers for future operational tasks. During the course, the officers were groomed on General Service Knowledge, Staff Duties, Base Defence Concept and Asymmetric Warfare to improve their leadership capacity in the Service. Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Guest of Honour, the Air Secretary, Headquarters NAF Air Vice Marshal Gali Abdulwahab, urged the graduating officers to be prepared to join efforts in battling the various security challenges confronting the country. The Air Secretary further advised the officers to justify the resources that had been invested in them by always carrying out assigned tasks diligently and professionally.

The unrelenting efforts to train NAF personnel in all necessary fields underscore the focus of the current NAF leadership to develop the capacity of personnel for enhanced professional performance and service delivery.

Air Vice Marshal
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force