The quest by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, to establish an Aviation and Aerospace University has been boosted by the assurance of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to expedite action on the concept document submitted by the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika.
Executive Secretary, National University Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed who gave the assurance after receiving the note from the Minister, said the commission will engage some professors to perfect the concept note for immediate approval.
A statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu quotes the Executive Secretary as saying: “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, first African University dedicated to aviation and aerospace study in the country”.
According to the Executive Secretary, the value of such university can’t be quantified and commended the Minister for his boldness and courage.
“This aviation under your guidance, will be the first to show the way that we can support the establishment of specialized university that won’t only serve us but serve the African region and the International community”. He stated.
Presenting the Concept Note earlier, Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika who was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Directors and Heads of Agencies, said that the ‘African Aviation and Aerospace University Abuja’ will be dedicated to research and development of knowledge in Aviation and Aerospace.
The Minister stated 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.
“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 and Africa in general. 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 further said that the huge gaps and deficiencies have left the Civil Aviation sector to be managed with basic knowledge of either being a pilot or aircraft maintenance engineer, with no one going into research and development to understand the Civil Aviation and Aerospace industry to grow it for our own betterment and leverage on the sector to recreate the economy, improve the wellbeing, add to the GDP and most importantly to expend knowledge horizon of Nigerians.
“We have been working three to four years now into this and 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. We come up with concept note of what will be the focus of this University” he explained.
He added that “the potential of this University to serve the market of civil aviation and aerospace within the continent cannot be overemphasized. Once the University takes off, a lot will happen and it will change the dynamic”.
Sirika expressed gratitude to the Executive Secretary and his team for guiding the process leading to the submission of the concept note, and the assurance that it will be expeditiously concluded.