Why my plan to establish aeronautical engineering varsity failed, by clergyman
Renowned evangelist, Dr. Uma Ukpai has lamented his failed bid to establish the first aeronautic engineering institution in the country, blaming it on ‘third forces.’ Ukpai who spoke at the maiden matriculation ceremony of 95 students of his newly established polytechnic said his vision for the aborted aeronautic engineering institution was a place where aircrafts would be assembled and serviced, coupled with training programmes.
He however regretted that “enemies of progress’ did not allow the plan to come to fruition.“ I am looking for tomorrow thinkers in Nigeria. I am looking for students who will wipe out the labels given to us by the white man. I am looking for students who will send satellite to the orbit. I am tired of men who give excuses, who believe in impossibilities”.
Úkpai, who cited the polytechnic at his Asaga Ohafia village, said his dream for the institution started in 1973.“I was the first missioner to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka in 1972 and 1973 respectively. I saw the beauty of schools and began to dream about building one in Asaga”.
To the matriculating students, the evangelist stressed the need for them to realize that education without Christ is an accident waiting to happen, pledging to encourage the best five science students with N5m.
Governor Ikpeazu, who expressed elation over the development, said that his state will soon be capable of providing the required manpower to support the country and is creating the enabling economic system to support industrialisation.
The rector, Alwell Onukaogu urged the Federal Government to review its policy on TETFUND and provide that all approved private tertiary institutions should be given some financial assistance to enable such institutions to be able to hire and retain quality staff.
“When this is done, private schools may then review their fees and reduce the burden on the parents of their students. Today private institutions that invest heavily in high-level human capacity development are hardly appreciated. What this means is that governments are discriminating against certain citizens who attend private institutions”.