The University of Ilorin has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on the use of the agencyâ€™s accident instigation laboratory in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
During the signing at the AIB head office in Lagos, the Commissioner, Akin Olateru said that academic institutions and other organisations in the country would save billions of naira annually on research and capital flight with the usage of the laboratory, adding that the partnership would be beneficial to the agency and the university.
He decried the prevalent situation whereby private and public business organisations expend little or no resources on funding of researches and projects in the country, stressing that Harvard University in the United States alone has in excess of $30 billion set aside for research purposes.
According to him, with adequate research would help the nationâ€™s national development.
Olateru explained that the vision of the management was 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, stressing that the collaboration with the university would lead to the recognition of Nigeria as a serious nation in researches in the international community.
He maintained that the usage of the facility would lead to human capital development in the country while the laboratory would also give students more opportunity to practice whatever they had been taught in the classrooms by their lecturers.
â€œThis is a very important occasion for us and I believe University of Ilorin too should be proud of this occasion. I have about 30 yearsâ€™ experience in aviation and this is the first that I know that an aviation agency is signing an MOU with any higher institution in this country for the benefit of Nigerians.
â€œLetâ€™s look at it very well, the federal government owns AIB and University of Ilorin is equally owned by the federal government. Why canâ€™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 of how we can benefit from one another. You donâ€™t need to have all the resources, competence or the technical expertise by yourself, it is all about collaboration.
â€œWe need to develop the manpower to be able to run the laboratory effectively and that is why I think this MoU is a groundbreaking event and I would 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,â€ Olateru said.
He also explained that AIB hoped to lure more academic institutions to make use of the facility, stressing that it would also form parts of its Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs).
The leader of the Unilorin delegation, Prof. Yinusa Jimoh noted that it was the first time the institution would sign MoU with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the country and expressed hope that it would be mutually beneficial to parties involved.
He insisted that Nigeria at large had 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.