News Review By Florence Ebebe
If the Management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, on Monday pursues its plans to build an airport within the campus of the institution to realization, it would have thrown huge challenge to the nation’s community of tertiary education.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Eyitope, had dropped the hint at the 2019 Faculty of Technology International Conference, held at OAU ICT Park recently, saying that the airport would serve as training ground for the planned aeronautic programme of the university.
The vice-chancellor said, “We believe that the future of travel globally is in the air. It is in view of this that we are starting an aeronautic programme. As part of this, we will be having our own airport.
“We have over 11,000 hectares of land, with which we hope to achieve our objective and we have developed a proposal for the airport. We will be taking it up with the authorities to ensure that we do not only have the aeronautic programme here, but also build an airport that will serve that purpose.
“We want to make OAU the hub of aeronautic studies in Nigeria. Currently, no federal university in the country offers a programme in aeronautic studies. We believe that with OAU taking up this challenge, we can go places with it.
“This idea was contemplated some years ago. Now we are very serious with it. We have the drawings in place and the land has been earmarked. Everything that we need for the airport and to start the programme is ready.”
In his own address, themed, ‘Diversification of Developing Economies: Imperatives for Sustainable Environment and Technological Innovations’, Prof Oluwatoyin Ashiru said ideas are abundant in Nigeria but the framework transform the ideas into reality.
Stressing that ideas abandoned in the country thrived in other countries of the world, Ashiru noted that the difference between Nigeria and other countries is the level of commitment and dedication to its development.
According to him, irrespective of the challenges facing the country, the country must embark on technological innovation and sustained support for research and development.