Nigeria is giving serious thought to building of Africa’s first aviation and aerospace University in Nigeria, with the view to grow human capacity in the aviation sector.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who dropped the hint on Friday said that the University Commission (NUC) has already received a concept document on the proposed university.
Sirika, said the University, to be the African Aviation and Aerospace University in Africa, will be cited in Abuja, and dedicated to research and development of knowledge in Aviation and Aerospace.
He said the idea is to fill some identified gaps in the growth and development of the aviation sector, adding “When we took the leadership in civil aviation; we identified and understood the gap in the growth and development of civil aviation in Nigeria in particular; as well as Africa in general. We are deficient in research and development in civil aviation and aerospace technology.
That has caused a lot of underdevelopment of the sector and made us to be backward.”
The Minister, observed that these deficiencies have left the civil aviation sector ill-equipped; leaving it under the management of people with basic knowledge of either being a pilot or aircraft maintenance engineer.
The skills gap has seen a paucity of research and development in the sector even when the sector had the potential of recreating the economy, improving the wellbeing; as well as contributing to the GDP of Nigeria.
“We have been working three to four years now into this. We developed a concept note based on the advice by Executive Secretary NUC for critique and that will fast track the process of setting up the University.
”Also, we came up with a concept note of what will be the focus of this University,” he explained.
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed stated that the Commission would engage some professors to perfect the concept note for immediate approval.
“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.
‘‘The value of such a university can’t be quantified. This will be the first to show the way that we can support the establishment of specialized universities that won’t only serve us but serve the African region and the international community.’’