….Wants speedy harmonisation of AFIT Bill
From: Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Commandant, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Air Vice Marshal Ishiaka Bukar, has said that inadequate funding was the major challenge hindering the Institute from functioning to capacity as contained in its master plan several years after.
AFIT was established about 46 years ago to train personnel for technical needs of aviation industry and other technological driven establishments within and outside Nigerian shores and it has since trained over 5,000 who were majorly admitted through Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Briefing the newsmen, in Kaduna, ahead of the Institute’s 46th convocation ceremony in Kaduna, the Commandant said, the passage of the AFIT Bill would open doors of opportunities for the Institute, including adequate funding and marketing of its exclusive technological breakthroughs to international communities.
Said he, “Our major challenge is inadequate funding to operate appropriately. As I said in my address, our only source of funding is the Nigerian Air Force and they have enough on their hand that they cannot provide all we needed to run our activities even the master plan has not been fully implemented due to dwindling funding.
“So the highest challenge we have here in AFIT is inadequate resources which will help us to put more infrastructure and equipment needed for researches in place for uptimum service delivery. We have not been able to employ both civilian and military expertise in some of our technical departments due insufficient funding.
“And this is one of the reasons we are clamouring for speedy passage of AFIT bill by the joint chambers of National Assembly and subsequent assenting to by Mr President. And we know that both chambers have passed the bill and all needed is for them to harmonise it and present it to Mr. President for his assent. If that is done, the institute will now be among the institutions being supported by Federal Government through TETFund and other relevance agencies.
“We have recorded numbers of achievements in the Institute which I have come to consolidate on. So, we will be able to do more if the Institute is eventually made autonomous”, he added.
The commandant however added that, all their programmes are accredited by the relevant regulatory agencies such as NBTE, NUC, COREN among others and open to qualified members of the public through JAMB while those seeking Higher National Diploma can apply for direct entry. Civilian graduates he added that, are unfailingly mobilised for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)
A total of 243 students, comprising officers and men of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, and the Nigerian Air Force as well as civilians will be graduating on the 28 July, 2017 from about 15 programmes conducted by the Institute.