President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday re-assured Nigerians that he will always divest his political interest from the issues that bother on national security.
The President, who also reiterated that his administration will diligently probe the October 1, bomb blast to its logical conclusion, urged Nigerians not play politics with the bomb blast, saying it was a crime against humanity.
He said this at the commissioning of a combat helicopter and seven anti-crime vehicles equipped with state of the art facilities, at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
He said: “I will like to seize this opportunity to reiterate to all Nigerians that this administration is fully resolved to ensure diligent and thorough investigation of the dastard bomb blasts of October 1 in Abuja.
“It is a duty we owe to our nation and our dear brothers and sisters who lost their lives that faithful day. I owe it a duty which we will prosecute to a logical conclusion.”
Jonathan urged the police to reciprocate the government gesture by ensuring that they make Nigeria unsafe for criminals.
He said: “How well the force is able to meet with its constitutional obligation is largely the function of how well it is supported with equipment and vital logistics.
“This is why a transformation and repositioning of the police to attain the highest level of professional excellence has been major cardinal point of this administration.”
He said the recent changes in the force is to ensure that the police meet the new challenges, just as he said Nigeria is presently confronted with new species of crime of kidnapping and car bombs.
He said the government alone cannot bear the huge financial implication of effective policing and therefore called on the private sector to support the project.
He said: “The police reform programme was estimated to cost about N1.5 trillion spread over six years period. It is in recognition of this fact that the federal government accepted a proposal for funding the programme by the three tiers of government, the federal, the state and the local government including the private sector and our development partners.”
He said the federal government has already demonstrated commitment to the programme by making a budgetary provision of N71 billion in the present fiscal year even as he commend state governments that have consistently provided valuable support to the police. This is just as he urged others to emulate their patriotic examples.
He commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its readiness to provide four of these armoured helicopters.
“At this time more than ever the leadership and all the officers and men of the police have an obligation to demonstrate the highest possible level of dedication, integrity, diligence and unwavering commitment to professional excellence in the discharge of their duties. This is the only way they can express their faith in the reform programme.”
Also yesterday President Jonathan commissioned the Total Radar Coverage of the Nigerian Airspace (TRACON), a project that was started seven years ago
A contract to execute the project, it will be recalled, was signed in 2003 between the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Thales S.A of France under the Ministry of Aviation at the sum of 66,500,870 Euros
The same (TRACON) has been installed in eight other locations across the country.
The project comprises four primary radar and five secondary radar heads co-located in Nnamdi Azikiwe, Murtala Muhammad, Mallam Aminu Kano and Port Harcourt International airports.
TRACON which is now operational after all hurdles has five relay stations which serve as standalone secondary surveillance radar located at Talata Mafara, Maiduguri, Numan, Obubra and Ilorin.
“This is another deliberate stride by this administration to provide safe and secure airspace across the country. The sector is currently undergoing transformation from its past state of disrepairs to conform to international standard.”
This was coming on the heels of Nigeria receiving the category one status from the USA in the aviation sector.
“The TRACON equipment installation is a good milestone and a good 50th anniversary gift to Nigeria”.
President Jonathan commended the minister of aviation and her team as well as the officials of NAMA for bringing to pass the vision which was birthed seven years ago.
Minister of Aviation Mrs. Fidelia Njezeh is the seventh minister to work with seventh project team and Jonathan is the third President to commission the project before its completion, according to the Acting Managing Director of NAMA, Nicolas Udoh.
Njezeh in the welcome address said the journey towards the realisation of this milestone was not an easy one.
She said the project was birthed to give surveillance to the airspace, to ensure the safety of all aircraft within the Nigerian airspace.
“This will make Nigeria a force to be reckoned with”, as it is the third after Egypt and South Africa to attain this status.
The architectural design of TRACON consists of voice communication systems, voice recording systems, very high frequency transceivers, fibre optic, display consoles, integrated aircraft billing systems and spares while radars at the international airports comprise both the primary and secondary radars.
One of the projects embarked upon to address the safety needs of the industry is the TRACON project aimed at providing total coverage for the Nigerian airspace to enhance civil and military surveillance of aircraft operating within the country. The project was awarded by the federal government in 2003 and was supposed to be completed within 36 months.