By Augustine Ehikioya
Towards boosting morale, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has commended the efforts of the Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA) at empowering dependents of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel and the less privileged in the society.
Such programmes, he noted, have impacted positively on ongoing NAF operations.
Air Marshal Amao spoke on Thursday at the graduation ceremony of the NAFOWA Skills Acquisition and Vocational Training Programme at the NAFOWA National Secretariat, Abuja.
A statement issued by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore, Edward Gabkwet, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA), has disclosed this.
According to the CAS, “humanitarian assistance and knowledge acquisition programmes by NAFOWA has helped to keep the home front stable thereby ensuring full commitment on the part of NAF personnel in the discharge of their duties.”
The CAS, in the statement also noted that NAFOWA’s efforts were also “in line with one of the key drivers of his vision that harps on pursuit of purposeful training and human capacity development.”
The training acquired by the graduands, he said, will no doubt complement the numerous poverty alleviation programmes of the Federal Government aimed at reducing unemployment, especially amongst youths and women.
He added that, ‘The programme was a means of financial independence, self-reliance, prosperity and personal development for the beneficiaries and their families and when the acquired skills are combined with other forms of academic endeavours, it offers infinite options and opportunities for employment and self-actualization.’
Air Marshal Amao also urged the graduands to make the best use of their starter packs and appealed to the organizers of the vocational training programme to monitor the beneficiaries’ progress with a view to ensuring that the objective of the programme was achieved.
Speaking earlier, the NAFOWA National President, Mrs Elizabeth Olubunmi Amao, said that in her quest to provide service to humanity, she had explored several options that could add meaningful value to the lives of women and youths in NAF Bases across the Country.
This quest, according to Mrs Amao, led to the birth of the vocational training programme.
She expressed delight at the seriousness and zeal with which the participants of the programme approached the training and hoped that the skills acquired will enable them to kick-start their dreams of becoming vibrant entrepreneurs.
Mrs Amao also thanked the CAS for his continued support and encouragement to NAFOWA, stressing that “the Association would continue to keep the spirit of ‘Service to Humanity’ alive by embarking on similar projects that touch lives positively and make a difference to daily existence.
Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of starter kits to the graduands by the Guest of Honour, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, and a tour of exhibition stands by dignitaries to inspect and patronize products made by the graduands.
The statement said “Some of the starter packs handed over to the graduands included flour mixers, soap making tools, wig making tools, industrial sewing machines, among other accessories to the graduating students.
The edition of the NAFOWA Vacational Training is the second under the leadership of Mrs Elizabeth Amao with 60 participants undergoing 12 weeks of intensive training in various vocational trades.
The participants were drawn mainly from widows of deceased personnel, dependents of serving personnel, orphans, youths and women from host communities who are largely unemployed or underemployed.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were the NAF Chief of Training and Operations, AVM Jackson Yusuf; Chief of Accounts and Budgets, Air Vice Marshal John Ochomma; Chief of Medical Services, Air Commodore Olabode Babalola; Directors from headquarters NAF and other invited Guests.