N1 bn has been budgeted as takeoff, says Aviation Minister
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a university for the aerospace and aviation sector.
The university known as the African University of Aerospace and Aviation is to be located in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
To this end, N1 billion has been budgeted as a takeoff of the new university Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika disclosed this when he led another management team of his ministry on a working visit to the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed.
Senator Sirika said one billion naira has been budgeted for the take-off of the specialised university which will be dedicated to research and development in civil aviation and aerospace technology
He explained that the University is unique as Nigeria was the first country in the African continent to establish such an institution, explaining that such feat motivated the name ‘’African University of Aerospace and Aviation.”
The minister noted that aerospace and civil aviation has been expanded with new frontiers that “needs the attention of experts that Nigeria will begin to play a role and participate effectively.”
‘’An example is the development of drones or unmanned vehicles that have now taken over the space delivering cargo, delivering mails, delivering things and very soon delivering human beings,” he said.
He explained that “This is a new frontier in civil aviation that needs to be developed,” adding:”We started with Brazil in the area of civil aviation, today Brazil is producing aircraft, and we aren’t producing a pin. So I think we should be able to have this university that is dedicated to aerospace and aviation in addition also the production of high-level manpower.”
He said the graduates of the university will venture into all aspects of civil aviation and aerospace.
He explained that the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology in Zaria, Kaduna, was a skill acquisition centre, to acquire skills to become an air traffic controller, a pilot, or an aircraft engineer, noting that aviation has gone beyond just skill acquisition.
He noted that the university will be a research centre primarily on aerospace and civil aviation matters.
The Executive Secretary, National University Commission, NUC, who received the formal letter of request, reiterated the commission’s commitment to ensure that the guidelines for establishing any higher institution in the country were adhered to before granting approval.