The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has approved the immediate establishment of the Directorate of Veteran Affairs in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) headquarters.
The move was part of efforts to achieve better welfare packages for Nigerian Air Force veterans and their families.
The director of public relations and information, NAF, Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, in a statement on Friday, said the new Directorate, domiciled in the administration branch, will also be responsible for interfacing with similar structures in sister Services towards harnessing necessary benefits for NAF retirees under existing Federal Government programmes for veterans, among other responsibilities.
The statement said Air Marshal Amao disclosed this recently while declaring open a two-day Conference for NAF Administrative and Medical personnel with the theme, “Efficient Human Resource Management: Panacea for Bolstering Morale and Improving Personnel Welfare”.
Amao said the NAF considers the state of physical and mental well-being of its personnel, which he described as an important factor in the sustenance of morale, as a force multiplier in ensuring operational effectiveness.
He also pointed that the conference was one in a series of conferences aimed at refocusing operational capabilities and bolstering personnel morale.
He noted that the strength of any armed Service was not determined by the strength of its arsenal, but also by the professionalism of its workforce, which is largely bolstered through robust human resource management.
According to him, in the last two months, the NAF had launched the Telemedicine portal to ensure access to prompt medical attention, whilst promoting confidence in NAF medical services for enhanced morale and productivity of personnel.
He stated further that the outcome of such innovations would stimulate NAF human resource management efforts to be at par with global organisational standards and best practices.
Air Marshal Amao, therefore, challenged participants to critically assess areas where the NAF was lacking as regards personnel welfare and administration and come up with workable solutions to mitigate effects on the Service’s operational capabilities.
“As a highly technical Service that deals with sophisticated aircraft, equipment and military hardware, maintaining a highly skilled, efficient, healthy and motivated workforce should be the hallmark of our daily activities. To this end, we will continue to epitomize best human resource management practices to promote our operational effectiveness,” he said.
While expressing the profound gratitude of the NAF to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unwavering and continued support, the CAS assured of NAF’s commitment to the successful execution of constitutional roles for a peaceful and united Nigeria.
Earlier, the Air Secretary, Air Vice Marshal Mahmud Madi, stated that the timing for the conference was apt, considering the strategic importance of the human resource in achieving organisational goals and objectives.
He stated that the NAF has invested hugely in human capacity development and personnel welfare in recent years which has translated to tangible gains in NAF operational conducts.
In the same vein, the Chief of Medical Services, Air Commodore Olabode Babalola, revealed the desire of the CAS to ensure that the NAF Medical Services measure up to the global best practice.
According to him, the CAS’ approval of the Medical Conference was a further attestation of his willingness to improve healthcare delivery in the NAF.