President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a new university, the African University of Aerospace and Aviation to be located in Abuja.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika disclosed this when he led the management team of the Aviation Ministry on a working visit to the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, in Abuja.
Senator Sirika said that N1 billion has been budgeted for the take-off of the specialised university, which he said would be dedicated to research and development in civil aviation and aerospace technology.
He explained that the university is unique in the sense that Nigeria is the first country in Africa to establish such an institution, hence the name ‘’African University of Aerospace and Aviation’’
The minister noted that aerospace and civil aviation has been expanded with new frontiers that need the attention of experts such that Nigeria will begin to play a role and participate effectively.
He 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 to the production of high-level manpower.”
The minister affirmed that graduates of the university will venture into all aspects of civil aviation and aerospace.
Speaking on the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology in Zaria, Kaduna, viz-a-viz the new university, the minister said the college is a skill acquisition centre for air traffic controllers, pilots or aircraft engineers, and stressed 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.