Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, says the ”Air Expo 2010”, to be staged by the Nigerian Air Force in Kaduna in northern Nigeria from May 11- 14 will be attended by nine African countries.
Petinrin told journalists on Tuesday in Abuja that “the unique feature of the Expo is the acceptance of the Chiefs of Air Staff of Cote d‘Ivoire, Mali, Chad, Uganda, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana and Benin Republic to attend the Expo”.
He said that the Expo will feature exhibitions of a wide range of military and non-military equipment from different participating companies both at home and abroad and so far over 43 companies and 11 countries will be participating.
“The other activities lined up during the expo include a seminar, ceremonial parade, aerial display and the commissioning of a new combat aircraft purchased by the Federal Government for the Nigerian Air Force,” he said.
According to him, the Air Expo will promote the public-private partnership initiative of the Federal Government.
He said the idea behind the event was borne out of the need to include Nigeria in the global trend, having seen such in places like the United Kingdom and France in the bi-annual Famborough Air Show and the Paris Air Show.
He said the maiden Air Expo was intended to provide a forum for all stakeholders in the defence and aviation sectors within and outside the country to interact and explore the huge market potential in Nigeria and West Africa.
“Although, this is just a humble beginning, it is hoped that the “Air Expo” will evolve into an international air show, fashioned along the lines of Paris and Famborough air shows in the years ahead,” he said.
Petinrin said the expo, which has the theme “Enhancing Nigerian Air Force Capability through Private Sector Partnership” was also to celebrate the 46th anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force, established in April 1964.