The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) on Friday 29th July, 2016 in Kaduna graduated 451 students in various fields of endeavour. According to the Provost of the institute, Professor Emmanuel Ezugwu, the graduands comprise 6 MSc students in Aerospace Vehicle Design in collaboration with the Cranfield University, United Kingdom; 18 Postgraduate Diploma students in Aerospace Engineering and Logistics & Supply Management. Others are Higher National Diploma in various academic disciplines and National Diploma students. Out of the gruaduands, 166 are from the Nigerian Air Force, 2 from the Nigerian Army and 8 from the Navy. The remaining comprised 4 personnel from the Ghanaian Air Force and 110 civilians.
The Commandant of the institute, Air Commodore Musibau Soladoye stated that the Institute has made steady progress over the years both in academics and research and development projects. "I know it's an exciting moment for you and your family that you have successfully completed your studies. Note that your graduation today indicates that you have met AFIT requirements both in character and learning, so, always be good and worthy ambassadors of AFIT and the country," he said.
Speaking at the 45th convocation ceremony, the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu who was also the Special Guest of Honour, lauded AFIT for its contribution to manpower development especially in the area of aerospace science and technology, in Nigeria and within the sub-African region. “The unique position of the Institute in providing requisite training in aerospace in Nigeria and other countries, coupled with its recognition by a number of local and international regulatory bodies, attests to its high academic standard and best practices" he said. Dr Ogbonnaya called on the graduating students and other well-meaning Nigerians to step-up the game in local production of goods and services with a view to encouraging the growth of local industries, job and wealth creation, as well as foreign exchange earnings. The Minister also congratulated the leadership of the NAF for its commitment and support to the Institute and the Nation at large while urging the graduands not to relent on their oars.
Meanwhile, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar who is also the chairman AFIT Governing Council, reaffirmed the desire by the NAF to be self-reliance through research and development. He charged the Management, Staff and students of AFIT to come up with technological solutions that would address the basic logistics challenges in the NAF.
The Institute, since establishment in 1977, has so far graduated over 5,054 students, including personnel from the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force as well as civilians. This number includes foreign students from the Armed Forces of the Republic of Benin, Zimbabwe, Niger, Ghana and Sierra Leone.
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