The long-awaited Pan-African Aviation University proposed by the Federal Government, to be established in Abuja would soon be realised.

It would be recalled that the Aerospace University was mooted by the aviation ministry to build capacity within the aviation and aerospace management sectors in order to meet up with local and regional demands in the sector.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, announced this in Katsina at the maiden matriculation ceremony of the Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology, Katsina.

The African aviation and aerospace university, according to the minister, was initiated and meant to produce world-class graduates that would become experts in aviation and aerospace science to service the increasing demand for pilots and aeronautical professionals in Nigeria and the Africa sub-region.

He said ongoing reforms in the aviation sector were aimed at making Nigeria a center of excellence in aviation and aerospace management in Africa which would reduce loss of revenue to foreign institutions and improve overall competence in the aviation and aerospace industry.

“The African Aviation and Aerospace University will be sited in Abuja. The federal government will establish it in partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, and some member countries of the organization within the African continent.

The university will be the first of its kind in Africa, it will be involved with research and development and allow other aspects of civil aviation and aerospace technology,” Sirika stated.

He urged the matriculating students of the Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology to remain focused in the pursuit of academic excellence in the field and appealed to the Katsina State government to allocate additional plots of land to the institute to enable it to construct more learning facilities.

In his speech, the Director-General of the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET), Professor Mansur Bako Matazu said the establishment of the institute will go a long way in boosting manpower to meet emerging challenges and drive the needed growth in the meteorological sub-sector.

He noted that the program was designed to undertake short-term specialised programmes and refresher courses to build capacity in the sector,  particularly with the increasing threat of climate change and the need to adapt to it and mitigate its effects on livelihoods and the environment.

Earlier, the Registrar of the institute, Dr. Bishir Gambo, said a total of 114 students were being matriculated as the first set of intakes for the diploma course run by the institution.

He said the institute which was established in 2019 will continue to expand its curriculum, infrastructure, and academic programs to meet up with contemporary demands for capacity building in the metrological and climate services sector.