Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), said that the Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (NAEME) corps, is bridging the gap in manpower to equipment ratio through repair, modification, local production.
Yahaya said this in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area in Edo, while opening a three-day maiden NAEME Engineering/Research and Development seminar at the Nigerian Army School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (NASEME), Auchi.
He noted that the improvement in military hardware holding, courtesy of recent acquisitions, was evidently yielding the desired positive inputs in the army’s operations across the country.
“This not withstanding, a huge gap still exists in the manpower to equipment ratio of the Nigerian Army order of battle.
“The NAEME corps is performing creditably in bridging this gaps through repairs, modification and local production.
“Equipment support, comprising maintenance, repairs and production, is key to any fighting force like the Nigerian Army,” he said.
The COAS said the country had been bedeviled by diverse security challenges, characterised mainly by insurgency, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, economic sabotage, secessionist activities among others.
“It is worthy of note that no geopolitical zone has been spared by this scourge of insecurity.
“In this regard, the Federal Government has continued to lend it’s support to the Nigerian Army, especially in the acquisition of modern military hardware.
“This is geared towards boosting the capacity of the service to effectively tackle the threats.
“Nevertheless the acquisition of this modern equipment come with attendant maintenance demand, which is the sole responsibility of the NAEME corps.
“The corps therefore bears the responsibility to develop the capacity of engineers and technicians to enable them to perform their role with ease,” he also said.
Yahaya who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, further said that the maiden Engineering/ Research and Development seminar couldn’t have come at a better time.
He added that this was due to the dire need for a forum to expose the corps engineers and technicians to modern engineering trends.
“Additionally, the need to collaborate with relevant civilian engineering firms, establishments and industries for the exchange of ideas and transfer of technology further butteresses the importance of this seminar.
“The seminar will inadvertently challenge the ingenuity of NAEME personnel and expose them to contemporary engineering matters, which is a step in the right direction,” he said.
He commended the collective efforts of both serving and retired personnel of the corps for the construction of a multi purpose auditorium in the school, describing it as an indication of progressive mindset.
Earlier, Maj.-Gen. Dickson Ehiorobo, Commander, Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, said the event was the first of its kind in the NAEME corps.
Ehiorobo noted that the COAS purposeful and exemplary leadership had provided the corps with the enabling environment to key into the vision of the COAS.
He explained that it was in line with the vision: “A professional Nigerian Army ready to accomplish assigned missions with a joint environment in the defence of Nigeria”, that the seminar was mooted.
He added that the seminar, with its theme, was aimed at enhancing the capacity and development of NAEME officers and soldiers.
He said this was to enable them to effectively discharge their responsibilities in support of the Nigerian Army. (NAN)