Sunday, November 25, 2012

What Do You Think: Pakistan Offers To Train Nigerian Soldiers

A team of military officers from Pakistan will soon visit Nigeria to help assess the needs of their Nigerian counterparts and assist in training them. Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ambassador Dauda Danladi, made this known to The PUNCH on Wednesday at the sideline of the ongoing D-8 summit in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Danladi said the two countries were working together to see how officials of the Pakistani Air Force could help build the Nigerian Air Force Industrial Complex that could maintain its fleet.

He said, “On the military aspect, we have made quite a significant achievement. The Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air Staff were here. We went round all the Air Force formations. We went to the Air Force Industrial Complex and we saw that they have the capacity to recover and maintain their aircraft fleet.

“We have initiated a programme whereby a team of experts from the Air Force industry here in Pakistan will visit Nigeria. They will carry out needs assessment and survey of the requirement of the Air Force in Nigeria.

“They will also look at the training deficiencies, especially in respect of flying modern combat aircraft. We will then see how we can cooperate to build the Nigerian Air Force Industrial Complex that can maintain the aircraft fleet and also provide civil services to other airlines in Nigeria. This will go a long way in conserving our foreign exchange.”

The envoy said seven Nigerian officers above the rank of colonel were currently undergoing training at the Pakistan National University.

He added that five other officers were undergoing pilot training while 10 ordinance officers were undergoing training on the provision of minor logistic equipment for the armed forces.

He said the nation also had five Naval officers who were undergoing naval course in Pakistan.

Danladi, who said Nigerians living in Pakistan are over 800 expressed joy that the Nigerian community in the country had not suffered any casualty despite the terrorists’ attacks being recorded there.

He said the mission was collaborating with the Pakistani authorities to explore the abundant natural resources that are available in Nigeria.

He said President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Pakistan was a great opportunity for the leaders of the two countries to meet and discuss further on areas of cooperation that would be beneficial to both countries.

Danladi added that the mission was working towards the establishment of the Nigeria-Pakistan Joint Commission.

He expressed the hope that this commission would be on board towards the second quarter of next year.

The envoy identified areas of cooperation between the two countries to include economic and scientific.

He recalled that there are agreements for the export of rubber, cocoa and cotton.

He said some state governments were in Pakistan and had placed orders for agricultural equipment.

For instance, he said Borno State had placed order for 500 tractors from Pakistani while Kano and Edo States were planning to do so.

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