GOVERNMENT ministers have finalised plans to launch an aviation university in Nigeria as part of an initiative aimed at training workers in the sector properly and getting them to operate according to international standards.
Historically, Nigeria’s aviation industry has been dogged by poor service with delays, cancellations and plane crashes very common. Many airline staff are poorly trained, a lot of their equipment is outdated and whenever there are delays or cancellations, customers are not compensated, put in hotels or even given proper explanations.
According to aviation minister Senator Hadi Sirika, to address these problems, the federal government plans to establish an aviation university to promote research, development and the production of high level manpower. He revealed this during a familiarisation tour of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria, Kaduna State, yesterday.
Senator Sirika said: “The aviation university will be different from NCAT as the university will be fully into research and development and the production of higher level management manpower needs of the industry. The university will go into deep research, with the hope that in the near future, we will be able to manufacture aircraft components, until when we are able to produce the aircraft itself.
“Brazil and India produce aircraft, so if such countries could do it, why not Nigeria? The technology is known, we are not reinventing it, we just put our act together in doing it, so, the university will cater for that, while NCAT will continue to provide the services in the institute.”
Commenting on the decentralisation of NCAT by the previous administration, Senator Sirika said it was a diluted effort that would make the college less-efficient and less-capable to do what it was set out to do. Captain Samuel Caulcrick the NCAT rector of said the college was the bedrock of the aviation industry bit enumerated some challenges it faced including funding and obsolete facilities which worked against rapid growth.