The Federal Government, through the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has disclosed its intention to establish an aviation university.
The FidelinfoNews reports that the government said the University would address the research and development deficit, which is apparent in the aviation sector.
The institution, African Aviation and Aerospace University, will be situated in Abuja and is expected to commence academic activities this year with BSc Aviation Business and BSc Meteorology courses.
Disclosing this in Abuja on Friday at a briefing in Abuja, the minister said the government will eventually privatise the University for efficiency’s sake.
He noted that the need to establish the University was due to the government’s desire to contribute more to the aviation sector, which would expand the country’s economy.
The Minister clarified that Buhari’s administration wants the country to go beyond churning out pilots, engineers, cabin crews, and others.
Sirika also hinted that the federal government is in partnership with NILE university to use its space pending the completion of the University structure.
According to the Minister, land has been allotted to the University within the Abuja airport area for it to build.
He said why establishing an institution is important: “All the things that we are seeing that is going wrong with our aviation is largely due to lack of capacity and understanding of the business itself.
“Aviation is a very thought out and dynamic industry with changes frequently. So, we need to keep up with the speed and have people who have the capacity and requisite knowledge to run the business.
“It is not enough to be a pilot or an engineer like me to run an aviation business, it is an art by itself and a profession, so Buhari’s government seeks to change that and because of how fast aviation and aerospace are changing the world over, we need to participate in it to be able to go into huge research and development in civil aviation. We should not be left behind.
“Aviation has been in Nigeria for a very long time and by now, we ought to be on top of the world with innovation in aviation and aerospace.
“We have had people who were born in the early 1930s and became pilots in Nigeria like Captain Rob, so from their time till now, nothing has really changed beyond the production of pilots, engineers, cabin crew, radio engineers, traffic controller, and others.
“So, we need to move from these basic skills into real knowledge so that we can contribute immensely to the GDP of the country and the general and socio-well being of Nigeria. We do feel that it is a very good venture.
“As a minister, this is the most important legacy that the government will leave behind.”
While delivering more details about the University, the Minister said: “We think that it is high time that the country goes into huge research and development in the areas of aerospace and aviation.
“We need to establish a university dedicated to that and it has taken a very long time. Since 2016, we have been on it because it is a rigorous exercise, we need to go through all of the requirements by the National Universities Commission(NUC), they have been very cooperative and supportive and guided us through the process.
“So, here we are today with the University about to start. The name of the University will be the African Aviation and Aerospace university.
“So, the component of Africa is to make it Pan-African and it is not limited in terms of experience to Africa, Nigeria will be the focus and centre and Africa will be the catchment area.
“The University has been given a location very close to the airport area by the government and it will be established there. This University is supposed to be a hybrid university, work on campus as well as an online university”.
The Minister also disclosed when academic activities would commence and some courses the school will major in. Sirika said: “We have the provisional approval by the NUC to continue, and once we satisfy the requirements, we will start.
“For the start-up, because we will be needing dormitories, laboratories and so on, we will be partnering with Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja.
“We have an MoU which will be signed hopefully by Monday for official partnership but we have discussed and agreed and it is just the formality for the signing.
“The lectures will be done at the temporary headquarters at Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB-N) building at the airport and some of the lectures will also be done in Nile University of Nigeria”.
“So, the first year which is this year, we will be doing BSc Aviation Business and the second will be Bsc Meteorology and these are the two that will start.
“The second year which is 2023, we will be doing Masters in Air Transport Management, this is all part of what we discussed with the NUC and we have gotten approval for that.
“Our website will be open for registration from the 26th of September to the 18th of November.”
ASUU Brace For Another Face-Off With FG
The Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU may be bracing for another round of face-off, recent developments between the union and the government have indicated.
Fidel Info reports that The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has insisted that the government will not pay full salaries to lecturers despite their ongoing nationwide protest.
Adamu, made this stance while speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister insisted that the government resolution, that the protesting lecturers would not be paid for work not done, was in line with the ‘No work no pay’ policy.
Recall that ASUU had on Monday begun protests across the country to press home their demand for full pay after the Federal Government refused to pay them for the eight-month period the lecturers were on strike.
ASUU, which had earlier, in February, embarked on strike, called off their strike in October, following an order by the Court of Appeal.
Following the development, the government paid the lecturers half salaries for the month of October while insisting that it would not pay for the eight months they were on strike.
But, ASUU began protests across the country over the half salaries paid by the government for the month of October.
In reaction to the protest, the education minister declared on Wednesday that the lecturers “would not be paid for work not done.”
The minister also reacted to the allegation made by the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodoke, that paying the lecturers on a pro-rata basis was a ploy to make them casual workers.
“Nobody can make university lecturers casual workers,” he said.
Adamu said he was not aware that the lecturers were threatening a one-day action to protest the government’s action.
ASUU Branches Begins Traditional Voting Today
Branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will begin their customary vote today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) about the union’s ongoing strike.
The National Executive Council will receive the various branches’ decisions for final decision-making.
This information was provided to the PUNCH correspondent in Abuja by a highly-placed source within the NEC on Tuesday.
“We got the directive after the meeting with the speaker yesterday(Monday). The intervention was timely. Branches will vote between today and tomorrow after which the decisions will be convened to the NEC,” the source said.
The new development follows a meeting with Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, who organized many talks between the union and the Federal Government side.
The strike would end in a few days, according to Femi Gbajabiamila, SAN, the lead attorney for ASUU, who also stated this to The PUNCH.
The government’s inability to satisfy ASUU’s unmet requests, according to the union, prompted the union to go on strike on Monday, February 14, 2022.
After “failed negotiations,” the minister of labor and employment Chris Ngige hauled the lecturers on strike to the National Industrial Court.
On September 21, the National Industrial Court ordered ASUU to end the strike.
The federal government’s request on notice was granted by the court, ordering the lecturers back into the classrooms.
In his decision on the interlocutory injunction, trial judge Polycarp Hamman prohibited ASUU from carrying out the industrial action until the outcome of the lawsuit brought by the federal government against ASUU.
Unhappy with the decision, the union went to the appeals court to challenge it.
Additionally, a request for a stay of the Industrial Court’s judgment was made.
The Court of Appeal ordered the striking lecturers to “immediately” call off the eight months strike, having struck out ASUU’s application for a stay of execution of the lower court’s order.
It said it was within ASUU’s right to appeal the decision of the industrial court.
Agreeing with the federal government’s argument that ASUU cannot approach the appellate court with “dirty hands”, the panel held, “should the applicant fail to obey the order (of the lower court), the leave granted shall be automatically vacated.Branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will begin their customary vote today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) about the union’s ongoing strike.
FULL DETAILS: Appeal Court Orders ASUU Immediately Call Off Eight-month Old Strike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities’ request for leave to appeal was approved by the Court of Appeal in Abuja (ASUU).
The leave so granted enables ASUU to formally contest the National Industrial Court’s interlocutory order directing its members to return to work until the outcome of the Federal Government’s substantive lawsuit against the strike that ASUU had initiated. The order was issued on September 21.
A three-judge panel of the court, presided over by Justice Hamma Barka, issued an order on Friday directing the professors on strike to “immediately” end their eight-month strike.
The court struck out ASUU’s request for stay of execution of the Industrial Court’s order, which its lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) withdrew on Thursday.
The appellate court said should ASUU fail to re-open the universities, the order to appeal against the interlocutory injunction of the National Industrial Court “will be automatically vacated.”
It gave the union seven days within which to file its notice of appeal against the order issued by the National Industrial Court.
Justice Barka said, in the lead ruling, that “I am inclined to granting the application to appeal the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
“But, the order of the lower court shall be immediately obeyed.”
Justice Barka agreed with ASUU that it was with its right to appeal the decision of the Industrial Court.
The judge also agreed with the Federal Government that ASUU could not approach the appellate court with “dirty hands” having failed to first, comply with the September 21 order.
He said “should the applicant (ASUU) fail to obey the order (of the lower court), the leave so granted shall be automatically vacated.”
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