Crime all over the world is now at an advanced technological level. Nigeria is not an exception. Criminality in Nigeria, in this twenty-first century, is more advanced than it was a century ago. Therefore, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), being one of the arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces, should brace up to the challenges of modern criminality.
For it to do this, it has to overcome its challenges. Doubtlessly, the Nigerian Air Force has some problems facing it. Unless these problems are solved, it cannot move forward. On the other hand, the Nigerian Air Force cannot solve the problems that it does not know. Nigeria has it that the man outside the game sees it better than those who are in the game. For this reason, I want to point out some of the challenges facing the Nigerian Air Force that might have not come to its notice.Information Guide Nigeria
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Nigeria Air Force Problems and Challenges
Some of the problems and challenges facing the Nigerian Air Force include:
- Lack of manpower
- Lack of air weapons
- Lack of aircraft spare parts
- Bad leadership
- Federal government
- Lack of welfareProblems and Challenges Facing the Nigerian Air Force
- Institutional upgrade
- Lack of Manpower
The rate at which criminals are increasing in Nigeria is alarming. The Nigerian Police Force (NPF), whose primary role is to combat internal insecurity, cannot face the criminals alone. Therefore, it needs the collaboration of the Nigerian Air Force. For this reason, the Nigerian Air Force needs capable aviators for its air operations.
Thus, the number of Nigerian Air Force personnel at present is a serious challenge. The federal government needs to employ more aviators who can face the bandits that are rising daily in Nigeria. If the Nigerian Air Force personnel are not enough to face Nigerian criminals alone, they cannot be enough to face those who are from outside the country.
- Lack of Air Weapons
The incident of 2015 September is still fresh in our minds. In that incident, Boko Haran brought the Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet down and later killed its pilot. This proves the inadequacy of the weaponry that the Nigerian Air Force has.JAMB Form
Watching the Russian-Ukraine war proves to us the type of weapons that modern fighters need. If the Nigerian Air Force does not have the weapons that can tackle internal insecurity, what is the probability that their present weapons can face the external threat? Therefore, the procurement of modern air weapons is a challenge and a problem for the Nigerian Air Force.
- Lack of Aircraft Spare Parts
Recall that the aircraft MIG-21 could not fly for years due to no spare parts to put it in order. Non-availability of aircraft spare parts like this poses a great challenge to the Nigerian Air Force. A situation where its machinery cannot be repaired for so many years is a problem to the Force men.
- Bad Leadership
Bad leadership is a challenge in the Nigerian Air Force. Some of the leaders are not always accountable. Oftentimes, they divert funds that are meant for air weapons and the welfare of personnel.Npower Recruitment
The tradition of appointing seniors to head commands is only good when such seniors are also leaders. What happens when such seniors lack leadership qualities? The commands they head will suffer from bad leadership. This poses a problem for the Nigerian Air Force.
The inability to adapt to prevailing circumstances is a challenge to the Nigerian Air Force. For instance, most Nigerian bandits operate in places that are close to forests in the northern part of the country. If the Nigerian Air Force personnel cannot adapt to such forest life, it becomes a serious problem. They cannot go after the bandits in the forests where their hideouts are. Air Force personnel should adapt to all situations. Otherwise, they cannot be effective.
- Federal Government
The head of state is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Unless he initiates combat, the Nigerian Air Force cannot make any move. This is a challenge to the Nigerian Air Force.
The Nigerian Air Force is not autonomous. When it needs weaponry, it makes its request to the federal government. Where the federal government is unable to meet the requests, the Force is handicapped. Therefore, the federal government can become a problem for the operations of the Force.JAMB Result
- Lack of Welfare
The welfare of personnel is a problem for the Nigerian Air Force. Their pay is nothing compared to the politicians whom they fight to protect. Nothing motivates a worker more than his take-home salary. The Nigerian Air Force has a lot to do for Nigerians.
The Nigerian Air Force is the only arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces that can fight insurgency in Nigeria. The reason for this is the terrain and the nature of insurgence activities in the country. Criminals hide in the forests because the forests are hard to navigate. Thus, only air fights can overcome them. The good welfare of the force personnel would motivate them to fight for Nigerians without looking back.
Read Also: 10 Solutions to Insecurity in Nigeria
- Institutional Upgrade
Upgrading the institutions where the aviators are trained is a challenge in the Nigerian Air Force. Pilots that fly the air spaces need training and retraining. The technicians need the same. The air fighters cannot be left out.
The curriculum in the institutions where the Nigerian Air Force personnel are trained should be reviewed from time to time. Things are changing very fast. Strategies that worked well yesteryear are not valid today. Therefore, it is expedient that those who a responsible for the training of our air fighters bring the institutions to international standard.
- Lack of Intelligence
The Nigerian Air Force cannot operate effectively without accurate information. Gone are the days when warfighters were fighting based on point-and-shoot. Nowadays, missiles are well programmed to operate on accurate information.
One of the reasons the Nigerian Air Force cannot overcome insecurity in Nigeria is the lack of intelligence reports. The criminals operating in Nigeria operate safely because nobody can find them. An accurate intelligence report should be able to pinpoint the exact place where the criminals are hiding in the forests. All that the air fighters need to do is release missiles at them in that place where they are hiding. Thus, lack of intelligence is a challenge to the Nigerian Air Force.
Without logistics, the Nigerian Air Force can fail even if weaponry and air fighters are ready. The Nigerian Air Force needs a revolution in its logistics.
The Way Forward for the Nigerian Air Force
The way forward for the Nigerian Air Force is to bring the Force to international standard. The Air Force personnel need retraining that meets international standards. Everything about the Nigerian Air Force should be upgraded to international standards.
Similarly, the Nigerian Air Force cannot succeed without the collaboration of all other security agencies in Nigeria. The Nigerian Air Force specializes in air fights. Yet, the people they fight against are on land. Therefore, it needs the collaboration of those who specialize in a land fight to overcome.WAEC Result
For instance, when the air fighters are in the air fighting the criminals who have their hideouts in the forests, the police and the army should be on the ground waiting for the criminals to run out of the forests. Thus, no criminal can escape from the forest unhurt.
In addition, the navy should be battle-ready in the waterways. Being on alert in the waterways will prevent criminals from escaping through the waterways. It is only a collaborative fight like this that can save Nigeria from the present menace.
Finally, the federal government should help in solving the problems facing the Nigerian Air Force. Since the Nigerian Air Force is not autonomous, all its success depends on the federal government. It is when the federal government has done all that it ought to do that the Nigerian Air Force can be blamed for any failure.
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