The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Logistics Branch today, 5 October 2018, commenced a 2-day Logistics Conference with the theme “Optimization of NAF Logistics Architecture, a Prerequisite for Effective Air Operations in the NAF”. The Conference, which is holding at the Air Marshal MD Umar Blue Room Headquarters NAF, is part of the overall policy thrust of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to inject fresh ideas into the NAF logistics architecture, for a more effective response to contemporary challenges in air force logistics management.
To ensure that the workshop lives up to its billing, 3 topics were carefully selected for the 2-day Conference. The first paper, titled “Appraisal of Logistics Architecture in the NAF: Issues and Way Forward”, was delivered by Air Commodore B Akanbi (Retired), while the second paper on “Optimization of NAF Projects Management Process” was delivered by Air Commodore EO Ohanele (Retired). The third paper, titled “The Public Procurement Act 2007: Implications for Defence Procurement in Nigeria” would be delivered on the second day of the Conference by Mr Aliyu Aliyu from the Bureau of Public Procurement. Adequate time was also provided for discussion of the various papers during interactive sessions which were chaired by experienced Logisticians thereby engendering frank dialogues.
In his remarks during the opening ceremony, the CAS, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, stated that, based on his understanding of the importance of logistics, he had, upon assumption of office, immediately directed the Chief of Logistics (CLOG) to organize awareness lectures on public procurement for all stakeholders in the procurement and logistics chain. The sensitization initiative, in addition to other stakeholders’ engagements, culminated in the establishment of the Directorate of Procurement in September 2015 to take over the responsibilities of NAF Procurement Planning Committee in line with provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2017 and global best practices. These efforts, he said, helped to create greater synergy between HQ NAF and the field units, thus improving the overall NAF procurement and logistics support processes.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the theme of the Conference was not only timely but apt in the light of contemporary security challenges confronting the country. He added that, despite the giant strides the NAF had recorded in the area of acquisition of various platforms, particularly in recent years, timely and effective delivery of logistics remained a daunting challenge which needed to be tackled head-on. “If the logistics architecture is not right, it would be a herculean task for fighting forces in the field to win battles. Despite renewed efforts to address some of these challenges, the outcome only highlights the need for an all-inclusive approach derivable from the engagement of stakeholders”, he said. Furthermore, the CAS noted that the expansion of the NAF organizational structure with the establishment of 2 new Commands and several new units necessitated an optimization of the NAF logistics setup to make it more responsive to the ever increasing scope of NAF operations. The CAS therefore urged participants at the Conference to evaluate the adequacy or inadequacy of the NAF logistics architecture and recommend ways forward. Air Marshal Abubakar, who later declared the Conference open, stated that with the calibre of resource persons and participants at the event, he was confident that justice would be done to the theme of the Conference.
Earlier in his welcome address, the CLOG, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Yahaya, expressed the appreciation of the Logistics Branch to the CAS for his foresight, dynamic leadership style and overall support towards the actualization of the missions of the Logistics Branch. The CLOG assured the CAS that the Conference would serve its intended purpose of repositioning NAF logistics to provide the needed timely and efficient support for NAF operations. The Conference is expected to come to a close tomorrow, 5 October 2018.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force