UNN, Igbinedion varsity partner Irish firm on degree in aviation

Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State

The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and Igbinedion University have disclosed plans to begin a degree programme in aviation.

This followed the partnership signed, yesterday, with Newcastle Aerodrome, an Irish aviation training company. Also partnering with the company is the Ministry of Education and Edo State Government.

UNN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Igwe, who was at the occasion, described the partnership as the best thing that has happened to him since he assumed the position. He decried the absence of aviation study in Nigerian universities, saying it was one of the areas the country is yet to fully delve into.

Describing the choice of UNN for the training as impressive, he hoped that the school would address human capital vacuum in the aviation industry. “It is good to know that the training will start in UNN,” he declared.

Also speaking, Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, expressed optimism that the partnership would bear mutual benefits to both parties.

He said: “We are positive that the partnership, when fully operational will bear mutual benefits to our two parties while advancing quality delivery of assigned responsibilities.

“We are committed to raising the bar of aviation training in this part of the world, working with Newcastle Aerodrome, while providing a platform for the firm to expand in the African continental space.”

Ezemonye recalled that the foundation of the partnership was laid about seven months ago when the proposal was received from the firm for partnership with the university, for the delivery of pilot certification and other aviation studies to be domiciled in the institution.

Deputy Governor of Edo State, Phillip Shuaibu, in his remarks, said the state government would take advantage of the business opportunities provided by the partnership.

He said: “We are delighted with this partnership because Edo has become a hub for commercial activities. It is difficult to catch a flight to Edo, if you don’t book, at least, two weeks to your travel. That is how busy our airport has become.”

Earlier, the Chief Flying Officer and Director, Newcastle Aerodrome, John Nugent, described the partnership as historic, being the first time two Nigerian universities – the first public university and the first private university, came in partnership with an international aviation school to enroll students to train as pilots.

“Both universities will work in conjunction with Newcastle staff, spending part of the course in Nigeria, learning the syllabus and sitting mock exams, while the remaining study will take place in Ireland,” he said.

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