The University of Ilorin has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Accident Investigation Bureau for the use of the agency’s metallurgical laboratory at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja for research purposes.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos, the Commissioner of AIB Mr. Akin Olateru said the partnership would be beneficial to the agency and the university.
He said both the private and public business organisations expend little or nothing resources to fund research and projects in the country, pointing out that Harvard University alone has $30 billion for research purposes
Olateru explained that AIB’s vision is to make the laboratory a world class facility where giant construction companies and countries like South Africa, United Kingdom and other European nations could come to conduct their researches’
He added that the collaboration with the university would result in the recognition of Nigeria as a serious nation in research.
He also said the usage of the facility would grow human capital development in the country while the laboratory would give students the opportunity to practice whatever they are taught in the classrooms.
“This is a very important occasion for us and I believe the University of Ilorin too should be proud of this occasion. I have about 30 years’ experience in aviation and this is the first I know an aviation agency is signing an MOU with any higher institution in this country.
“The federal government owns AIB and the University of Ilorin is equally owned by the federal government. Why can’t we collaborate? I challenge every other agency to see how we can all collaborate, no more a stand-alone business. We should find a way how we can benefit on one and other. You don’t need to have all the resources, competence or the technical expertise by yourself; it is all about collaboration.
“We need to develop the manpower to be able to run the laboratory effectively and that is why I think this MoU is a grand breaking event and I will like to see more of it not just in aviation, but in the country at large. This is something we are giving our 100 per cent and Nigerians would benefit from it.”
Olateru also said the agency hoped to lure more academic institutions to make use of the facility adding that it would form part of its internally generated revenues.
Responding, the leader of the delegation, Prof. Yinusa Jimoh said it was the first time the institution would sign MoU with any ministry, department and agency in the country and expressed hope that it would mutually benefit the parties involved.
He said Nigerians have a lot to gain from the partnership stressing that rather than travel abroad for researches they would be able to do so with ease in the country.
He enjoined other academic institutions in the country to look inward whenever they are conducting researches pointing out that curb capital flight.
“Nigeria has a lot to gain through this partnership because Nigerians go to every part of the world for research purposes. We still send materials to overseas when we are doing some research work. Our facilities still require improvement and this is a good facility for us and we are taking good opportunity of this.
“We are looking for a place to improve our facilities and we have it now. By tomorrow, this thing will be a huge benefit for this country. We are starting an agreement that would be sustained. It is a win-win situation for all of us involved,” he said