ACCIDENT Investigation Bureau (AIB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on the use of its metallurgical laboratory at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner of AIB at the signing of the agreement at the Senate Building of UNILAG, said that the laboratory was to the benefit of Nigeria, students of higher institutions of learning and industries in the country.
Olateru said that the sighting of the laboratory equipment in the country would save Nigeria huge capital flights, which would have been expended on air tickets, hotels and others by researchers, stressing that collaboration with organisations would further enhance one another’s capabilities.
He explained that the agency had written to 12 higher institutions of learning on possible collaboration on the usage of the facility, but decried that only three universities; University of Ilorin, UNILAG and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa responded to its letters seeking for collaboration.
He emphasised that the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) partnered with public and private organisations in the US and wondered why same could not be replicated in Nigeria.
He said: “I believe we can make this country great with collaborations. We need collaborations like this to help us add value to the country. We actually wrote to 12 universities, but only three responded to our letters, which is very unfortunate.
“This is why I want to thank your leadership for the signing of this MoU because it shows the efforts you are putting in place to increase the knowledge base of this great institution of learning.”
He, however, expressed satisfaction with the responses of the three universities, but noted that any other institution willing to partner with it was free to do so. He noted the management would not compel any organisation or institution to collaborate with it on the use of the equipment.
In his response, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Vice Chancellor, UNILAG explained that university education is about research.
He declared that UNILAG was a research-oriented institution, saying that the institution collaborates with other universities and institutions across the country and beyond.
He said that students of the universities had been taking the centre stage in the country while at the international level, they have equally been making great impacts.
Said Prof. Ogundipe: ‘The direction of research now is about collaborations and networking. I am glad that we are starting this on a good note. I want to assure you that we will make maximum use of this with our students. Our intention is to make our students known locally and visible at the global stage and I am happy we are achieving that so far. On our own, we will give this collaboration 100 per cent support it deserves,” he said.