President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a take-off grant of N1 billion to establish Nigeria’s first aviation and aerospace university, to be located in Abuja.
In 2017, the federal government had said an aviation university would be established to “manufacture” aircraft components and eventually “produce” aircraft.
Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, made this known when he led the management team of the aviation ministry on a visit to Rasheed Abubakar, the executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) recently.
He said the institution named “The African University of Aerospace and Aviation” would be dedicated to research and development in civil aviation and aerospace technology.
The minister explained that the decision to establish the specialised university was informed by the need to fill some identified gaps in the growth and development of the aviation sector.
“We are deficient in research and development in civil aviation and aerospace technology, and that has caused a lot of underdevelopment of the sector and made us to be backward,” Sirika said.
‘’An example is the development of drones or unmanned vehicles that are now taking over the space delivering cargo, delivering mails, delivering things and very soon delivering human beings.
“This is a new frontier in civil aviation that needs to be developed. 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.”
On his part, Abubakar said the NUC would expedite action on the concept document submitted by Sirika for the establishment of the university.
He said the commission would engage some professors to perfect the concept note for immediate approval.
Abubakar assured that the aviation university would be in place by the end of July.
“I can assure you that by the end of the month (July), we are going to have a brand new university, the first of its kind in Abuja, the first African University dedicated to aviation and aerospace study in the country,” he said.
“This aviation, under your guidance, will be the first to show the way that we can support the establishment of a specialised university that won’t only serve us but serve the African region and the international community.”