The Niger Government has spent N80 million on training 10 pilots at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology's facilities at the Minna Airport, the state's Commissioner for Transportation, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammad, said on Sunday.
Mohammad made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
"The trainee pilots had completed their ground training preparatory to their flying training.
"We are spending N8 million each for the training of each pilot, who had concluded their ground training, using the stimulators in Minna and the training facilities in Zaria.
"The trainee pilots have been joined by three students from Benue, one each from Kaduna and Kano, bringing the total number of trainee pilots at the NCAT Minna Annex to 15 trainee pilots," Mohammad said.
According to him, the college is expected to deploy four of its aircraft for the training of the pilots, who had to earn a credit of 15 hours flying with instructors and another 15 hours earned credit of solo flying to complete the first phase of their training.
He said the college would give the successful students the Private Pilot License (PPL) but added that the students needed to attain 35 hours of credit earned flying before being given the Commerce Pilot License(CPL).
Mohammad said the college's location in Minna would not affect the quality of instructions given to the trainee pilots.
"It is 18 months rigorous training, anyone that did not earn the required credit flying hours will be dropped or asked to repeat.
He said the State Government was committed to the training of pilots at the Minna annex and that it would be sponsoring another set of students in line with its vision of becoming the third most developed state by year 2020.
He said that NCAT had been allocated a large parcel of land for the construction of its annex in Minna.
The commissioner explained that the land was allocated to the college so as to enable the indigenes to have the opportunity of receiving training as pilots.