From Ismaila Chafe
Nigeria will soon establish an Aerospace University to meet the challenges of a skilled and specialized workforce in the aerospace sector.
Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika announced this at the weekly ministerial press conference organized by the Presidential Communication Team under the direction of the President’s Spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in the presidential villa in Abuja.
Sirika stated that the university was world class and would work with some famous institutions.
“Believe me, civil aviation alone can sustain our economy. Ethiopia is half of Nigeria, there are 85 million people and its main source of income and economy is Ethiopian Airlines.
“So civil aviation alone can actually run an economy, it depends on how you do it.
“But we’ve seen that we’re not producing anything from civil aviation and that all the airlines in the country keep collapsing, and that made the problem worse.
“We attribute this to the lack of management capacity.
“So we’re going to set up the institution in partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), other friendly countries and some universities around the world.
“So it will be a world class university and there is now a small team working on it. We have submitted our concept notes to the Nigerian University Commission and they are being processed.
“I think this university will be built very soon, before the end of the year. The FCT minister gave us the land. It will be half online and half real-time studies. “
He was optimistic that if the university was up and running, it would increase activity and produce the aerospace workforce it needs.
“We started this journey in civil aviation with countries like Brazil.
“We started a partnership between the Nigerian government and UNDP in Zaria in 1963 and have not even produced rivets as a nation since, but Brazil, which we started with, now produces all types of aircraft.
“So we think we should have a university to go deep into research and development and create those opportunities in our sector and get young men and women with good minds into the aerospace industry,” he said .