President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of an African University of Aerospace and Aviation to be located in Abuja.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, stated this when he led some management team of the Aviation Ministry on a working visit to the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof Rasheed Abubakar, in Abuja on Friday.
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Senator Sirika said N1billion had been budgeted for the take-off of the specialised university which would be dedicated to research and development in civil aviation and aerospace technology.
He said the University is unique as Nigeria is the first country in the African continent to establish such an institution.
According to him, aerospace and civil aviation had been expanded with new frontiers that needed the attention of experts, adding that Nigeria would begin to play a role and participate effectively soon.
“An example is the development of drones or unmanned vehicles that are now taking over space, delivering cargo, delivering mail, delivering things and very soon delivering human beings,” he said.
Sirika said: “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.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Abubakar, who received the formal letter of request, reiterated the commission’s commitment to ensure that the guidelines for establishing any higher institution in the country were adhered to before granting the approval.