The Federal Government says the National Universities Commission (NUC) will expedite immediate approval of the establishment of Aviation and Aerospace University.
The Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, Mr James Odaudu made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos on Friday.
Odaudu explained that the Executive Director, NUC, Prof. Rasheed Abubakar gave the assurance after receiving the Concept Note documents from the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika
Abubakar assured the Ministry of Aviation that it would expedite action on establishment of the university, adding that the commission would engage some professors to perfect the concept note for immediate approval.
He assured the minister that by the end of July, the ministry would be having a brand new university, the first of its kind in Abuja, first African University dedicated to aviation and aerospace study in the country.
The executive secretary noted that the value of such university could not 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 specialised university that won’t only serve us but serve the African region and the International community,” he said.
Earlier, Sirika, while presenting the concept note, said the ‘African Aviation and Aerospace University Abuja’ would be dedicated to research and development of knowledge in Aviation and Aerospace.
The minister explained 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 lead 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,” he said.
Sirika further said the huge gaps and deficiencies had left the civil aviation sector to be managed with basic knowledge of either being a pilot or aircraft maintenance engineer.
He added that the situation had left no one going into research and development to understand the civil aviation and aerospace industry to grow it for their own betterment and leverage on the sector.
Sirika said this could also recreate the economy, improve the wellbeing, add to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and most importantly, expand 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.
“I believe the concept note 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 could not be overemphasized, adding that once the university took off, a lot would happen which would change the dynamics.
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 would be expeditiously concluded.
Sirika was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Directors and Heads of Agencies. (NAN)