By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
The Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Bamofin Afe Babalola, has raised hope of the take-off of Ado-Ekiti Airport soon.
Babalola, who said that all spheres of life, including education and agricultural sectors ,would benefit from the development, added that: “Within the next two years, we will be using the airport in Ekiti.”
The ABUAD founder, who frowned on the reluctance of past administrations in the state to the project approved by the Federal Government some years back, said he would not hesitate to construct the airport on his own.
Aare Bamofin, who said President Goodluck Jonathan expressed commitment to the Ekiti Airport project during his visit to the University last year, said: “I am waiting for them. If they cannot do it, I will do it myself. Within the next two years we will be using the airport.”
The ABUAD founder spoke in response to an observation from a parent that airport was necessary to facilitate access to the university from other parts of the country and the globe in view of the poor road network in the country.
The parent made the observation in Ado-Ekiti recently during the commencement of the accreditation of ABUAD Post-Graduate School by a team from the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The legal luminary said the Federal Government had approved citing of cargo airport close to ABUAD, done the perimeter survey as well as earmarked N680 million for the airport. He, however, lamented that the immediate-past administration in Ekiti State frustrated the project by saying airport was not its priority.
The ABUAD founder said: “The airport would have taken off three years ago. To us, it is a priority. It will as well be useful for the multi-million naira agricultural products in the state”.
Babalola said the university, since inception, had its eyes on post-graduate studies, adding that being a research centre, the staffing, infrastructures, laboratories and equipment of the institution were geared towards that end.
While assuring that the institution had surpassed the benchmark, he urged the NUC Post-Graduate School Accreditation Team to go beyond its scope, saying: “When you see all these things on ground, they will surely assist you.
“We are ready, we are willing. We have the capacity to provide the most efficient post-graduate studies in the country,” Babalola said.
The Leader of the NUC team, Dr Gidado Kumo, said the major concerns of the body for post-graduate recommendations were in the areas of staffing; curriculum; and infrastructures provision.
Kumo said NUC had harmonised post-graduate studies in Nigerian universities, saying Masters Degrees in the academic field now run through the course work and thesis for a minimum period of 18 months