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I feel pained not getting support for future aircraft industry in Nigeria — Yasir

Yasir Aliyu, a 20-year-old who builds and flies RC planes, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), in his interview with Daily Trust, disclosed that…

Yasir Aliyu, a 20-year-old who builds and flies RC planes, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), in his interview with Daily Trust, disclosed that his hope is to be an aerospace and aeronautical engineer, but his hope fades as Kaduna State government failed to assist him even after they had promised to do so.

Kindly introduce yourself

My name is Yasir Aliyu. I am from Zaria, Kaduna State.

I was born on the 5th of January, 2004. I attended primary school at Model Learning School in Samaru, Zaria, and finished in 2015. And I moved on to ABC Academy which is the Absaco Academy where I did my secondary school and I finished in 2020.

I build and fly RC planes which are known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

What prompted you to start building RC planes?

It was like a dream when I started imagining how aircraft normally operate. My first project was when I was in JSS2. I made a car, which worked despite using a carton to make the frame and some electronics to make it move.

Aso, in SS2, I made a rocket, which flew, with cardboard to make the frame bottle valve in generating the thrust. I apply Newton’s third law of motion which states that: “Whenever a force acts on one body, an equal opposite force acts on some other body.” In other words, to every action that is equal, there is an opposite reaction.

When I moved on to SS3, I started imagining how to create an airplane. Since then, I’ve nursed the dream to build an aircraft model which I started to do my research on, and finally, I succeeded in making the aircraft.

What motivated you and did you have any support when you started?

Since I was little, I liked seeing aircraft when they were flying as well as loved watching aircraft movies. Also, I love toy aircraft and that is why I got inspired to start making research to make my own aircraft. Gradually, I arrived there step-by-step but unfortunately, I am yet to get support.

I did not receive any support in achieving my goals, which is to make Nigeria manufacture its own aircraft without buying from other countries. This I believe will make it one of the most powerful countries in the world.

My dad and mom supported me with a little amount of money they had.

Apart from my parents, my elder brother views what I do as time wasting. But the greatest support I have received is from my mum who motivates me and also helps me more with the little money she has.

What do you want to achieve with this invention?

I want to achieve my goals and my dream of becoming an aerospace and aeronautical engineer while making Nigeria to be among aircraft manufacturers so that we can make and assemble the aircraft manufacturers without buying from other countries.

For instance, the fighter jets Nigeria has today were purchased from developed countries like the USA. If I am given the opportunity and necessary support from the government, Nigeria will fly its own fighter jets like the F-16 falcon fighter, F-22 Raptor, Harrier ll, F-35JSF, Sukhoi-18, F-4 phantom and also the best fighter jets in the world.

What are the challenges you are facing while trying to realise your dream?

The challenge I am facing is lack of financial support in the projects I am working on. I wanted to build an autonomous UAV for Kaduna State after the abduction of some students to help the security in monitoring the activities of the kidnappers.

This UAV performs all the mission autonomously without the use of any manual control as it can be used for attack because it contains the bomb-drop-release mechanism for dropping bombs to the area for target during attack and also to make surveys but due to lack of financial support, I was not able to proceed with the project.

But the state government promised to give you support, but what happened?

It is true the government made a promise to give me a scholarship. A team led by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Kaduna State on Sciences and Technology was sent to my house. They checked my project but did not give feedback. Also, whenever I call the phone number, they drop; they don’t pick my calls again.

How did the promise come about?

It was when a Facebook user, Lucky Udu, posted my project that I got the attention of the governor of Kaduna State, Malam Uba Sani, who dispatched a team led by his Senior Special Assistant on ICT and they interviewed me. Subsequently, I visited them the next day and they said I would be given a scholarship at the Airforce Institute of Technology. I was happy and appreciated them.

I also informed them that I was waiting for admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna as well as the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, to study architecture. Eventually I got admission into the ABU to study architecture, and I informed them and the SSA told me to apply for need-based local scholarships which I did. He thereafter told me that the scholarship was ready and I should wait for their response. But two months now, I am yet to get their response. I later called them but no one picked my calls, thus, since September 26, 2023, I have been waiting for their response.

Their failure to honour their promise has made me not enrol into the school as I did not have funds to pay for the registration fee.


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