By LAWANI MIKAIRU
The International Aviation College, Ilorin is to be assisted by the Kwara State Government to source loan from China Exim Bank to acquire about 20 new training aircraft early next year. This was disclosed by the acting Rector of the college, Captain Nuhu Abdulkarim while fielding questions from aviation reporters in Ilorin.
When asked whether the college would need assistance from the Federal Government considering its rapid growth, Captain Abdulkarim said: “I don’t own the school; the state government owns the school 100 per cent but I was privy to the fact that the state government is trying to source loan on our behalf from China Exim Bank. That is the least that I know. I know also that there was a plan for us to have even 20 aircraft.
“From a business perspective the College has no choice than to make sure that all its facilities are upgraded and ensure we are world standard at any time. This is because we are the only one in the West African sub region owned and operated by the state government. We have to make sure everything is done properly.
The College is being run on private sector standards; it is not like another government parastatal that you expect would be run down.”
On providing manpower for the college, the Rector said: “ We have qualified manpower with more than 30 years experience as pilots and instructors. We have also just employed six new ground instructors with sound backgrounds.
We have put them through classrooms as if they are going to be pilots. They will do all the theories and pass the exams prescribed by the NCAA. After that in January, they are going to go to a class where they are taught instructional techniques, thereafter; they will now be assigned by the NCAA to be ground instructors. Currently, they are ground instructor trainees and their training is going on. That is what we call succession.”
He further explained that the college has good infrastructures which are well maintained. And that explained why the Nigerian Air Force will bring their personnel to be trained at the college. “ If the Nigerian Air Force will bring 25 candidates to train here, that is significant. And in order to convince that kind of organisation to keep coming, you have to make sure that this place is top notch.
The former Rector of this institution is the current Director General of NCAA. That tells you the decision of government in setting up this place.”
When asked that with all the financial support coming from the state government does he still insist there is no interference. Captain Abdulkarim replied : “ I don’t have interference from government; the management does not have interference and the Board doesn’t, but once in a while you always go to your father, which is the same government, and say, okay, we have this; we have that. Or he will ask, what are you doing, Son? We are doing well.
We have not had any physical or financial interference from the state government or from the board. There is a synergy among the three. The three wheels are rolling.”