The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), hosted four talented youths from Ilorin, Kwara State who had built an aircraft prototype capable of ground motion. This is in pursuance of the NAF’s commitment towards enhancing Nigeria’s National Research and Development (R&D) effort, as well as encouraging youth’s participation in innovative ventures. The four boys included; Musa Aliyu, Abdulateef Anaf, Abass Jamiu and Jimoh Ahmed.
The four Nigerian youths came into limelight after a video of the prototype aircraft they built went viral.
Following their fame, the talented youths were airlifted from Ilorin to and from Kaduna by a NAF craft. They were taken on tour to the Air Force Research and Development Center (AFRDC), Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), 401 Flying Training School (401FTS) and 431 Engineering Group (431 Egr Gp) in NAF Kaduna Base. The idea was to expose them to aircraft engineering, aircraft R&D and aircraft operations.
The boys were received at AFRDC by the Principal Director of the Centre, AVM Austine Imafidor, and shown the processes involved in R&D as it relates to both manned and unmanned aircraft. They also had the opportunity to interact with Aerospace Engineers and other Specialists involved in some of the R&D efforts of the Service.
At AFIT, one of NAF’s prominent Research Fellows, Group Captain Osy Ubadike (PhD), briefed them on what they needed to study to be good maintenance or design engineers for aircraft systems. While at 401 FTS and 431 Engr Gp, the youths were shown the basic mechanisms of aircraft flying as well as its components, maintenance and repairs.
To give them a feel of what it means to fly an aircraft, the young men were given the opportunity to conduct a tutored taxi of the NAF Diamond DA-40 trainer aircraft.
In a statement signed by Ibikunle Daramola, Air Commodore and Director of Public Relations & Information, he maintained that:
‘The NAF has, over the past few years, made it a policy to encourage those who have flair for R&D. In this regard, the NAF grant scholarships to gifted and creative individuals who qualify to undergo various courses of study at AFIT.’
‘One of such individuals is Mr Armstrong Buba, a talented young technician, who has made significant contributions to the NAF’s R&D efforts.’
‘Scholarship was similarly awarded to Ibrahim Dogo, the son of a retired NAF personnel, who is currently studying at AFIT.’
‘The NAF also offered scholarships to some young inventors from Sapele, Delta State. However, they are yet to take up the offer.’
‘Today’s gesture of support to the 4 Ilorin youths is therefore the fourth of such interventions by the NAF.’