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As part of an effort to solve the pension crisis in a military circle as well as stimulate better welfare packages for Nigerian Air Force (NAF) veterans and their families, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has approved the immediate establishment of the Directorate of Veteran Affairs.
Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet in a statement on Friday morning disclosed that the new Directorate will be domiciled in the Administration Branch.
He explained that the directorate will also be responsible for interfacing with similar structures in sister Services towards harnessing necessary benefits for NAF retirees under existing Federal Government programs for veterans, among other responsibilities.
The CAS disclosed this while declaring open a 2-day Conference for NAF Administrative and Medical personnel.
Air Commodore Gabkwet noted that the Conference with the theme, “Efficient Human Resource Management: Panacea for Bolstering Morale and Improving Personnel Welfare,” attracted seasoned and erudite resource persons with vast knowledge in human resource management as well as experts in the field of medicine.
In his opening remarks, the Chief of Air Staff pointed out that the Conference was one in a series of conferences aimed at refocusing operational capabilities and bolstering personnel morale.
He said the strength of any armed Service is not determined by the strength of its arsenal, but by the professionalism of its workforce, which is largely bolstered through robust human resource management.
The Air Chief disclosed that in the last 2 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 said the outcome of such innovations would stimulate NAF human resource management efforts to be at par with global organizational standards and best practices.
Air Marshal Amao 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.
Earlier, the Air Secretary, Air Vice Marshal Mahmud Madi said the timing for the conference was apt, considering the strategic importance of the human resource in achieving organizational goals and objectives.
He added 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.
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.
He said the CAS approval of the Medical Conference is a further attestation of his willingness to improve healthcare delivery in the NAF.

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