By Ismaila Chafe
Nigeria will soon establish an Aerospace University to address the challenges of qualified and specialised manpower in the aviation sector.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made this known at the weekly ministerial press briefing organized by the Presidential Communication Team led by the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Sirika explained that the university would be world class and would collaborate with some famous institutions.
“Believe me, civil aviation alone can sustain our economy. Ethiopia is half-Nigeria, there are 85 million people and their major 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 have seen that we are not producing anything out of civil aviation and all the aviation ventures in the country keep collapsing and that has compounded the problem.
“We attribute that to the lack of capacity to manage.
“So we are going to establish 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 a small team working on it now. We have submitted our concept notes to the Nigerian Universities Commission and it is being attended to.
“I think this university will come up very soon, before the end of the year. The Minister of the FCT has given us the land. It will be half online and half real time studies.”
He expressed optimism that the university when operational would boost activities as well as produce the needed manpower in the aviation sector.
“We started this journey in civil aviation with countries like Brazil.
“We started our own in Zaria in 1963, with a partnership between Nigerian government and the UNDP and since then, till now, we don’t produce even rivets as a nation but Brazil that we started with is now producing all sorts of aircraft.
“So, we think that we should have a university to go deeply into research and development and create those opportunities within our sector and turn out those young men and women with good brains to go into the venture of aerospace and aviation,” he said.