The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique yesterday disclosed that not less than 2,000 able-bodied Nigerians were recruited into the Nigerian Air Force within the last one year.
Sadique who made the declaration before the Senate Committee on Air Force during 2017 budget defence of his command, said the mass recruitment was done in line with the employment generation of the present administration as a way of addressing the problem of unemployment among the Nigerian youth aside getting the required manpower for the intensification of the war against Boko Haram Insurgency in the North-East.
“Unlike very limited number of recruitment Air Force used to carry out in the past in getting interested Nigerian youths into the military, just last year alone, over two thousand Nigerians were recruited aside the ongoing recruitment exercise for this year”.
He added that the Air Force also acquired series of Air fighting jets details of which he said would be disclosed to the committee at closed-door session.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Duro Faseyi, said the session was very important so as to know the level of compliance attained by the force in the implementation of the 2016 budget and targets –driven proposals made for the 2017 fiscal year.
He said:”The budgeting process is crucial and is as important as any other functions of the Parliament.The desire of the National Assembly for utmost thoroughness, transparency and due diligence in this year’s exercise informed its decision to suspend plenary for a couple of weeks so that this year’s appropriation to gets the required attention and seriousness it deserves.
“As we all know, budgeting is important for planning; it avails the necessary tools required in making an informed forecast of expenditures based on expected revenues for every financial year.
“Furthermore, the budget defence processes enables us to determine the extent of compliance with the Appropriation Act; that is, how judiciously were the monies appropriated in the previous year used and were they used for the purposes for which they were appropriated?
“One is not unaware that the Air Force is a very expensive force, neither is one oblivious of the long history of underfunding of our armed forces, but the realities of the times we live in presently, compels us to be more prudent and get our priorities right, so as to ensure a judicious use of available resources and ensure an equitable allocation of our scarce resources to where they are most urgently needed more than before.”