The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said he had no regrets
siting the transportation university in Daura.
Mr Amaechi said this at the ground breaking of the Transportation
University in Daura, Katsina on Monday.
”When we sited the factory at Kajola, there was no noise, nobody debated
about it, nobody abused us for it unlike the site for the university.
”Daura is in Nigeria, it is not in any other part of the world. It is
not in Niger Republic, Biafra or Mali, it is in Nigeria. So, what is
wrong in siting the University of Transportation in Daura?
”I have no regret siting this university where I have sited it, it is
not because I want to get any gain,” Mr Amaechi said.
Daura is President Muhammadu Buhari’s hometown thus leading to the
According to the minister, the establishment of the university was an
attempt at responding to the question of how we (Nigeria) will maintain
the infrastructure we are building in the country.
He said: ”It is my attempt at responding to the question of how to
maintain and manage all the infrastructure we are building and realised
that education is key.
”I engaged the companies, the first engagement was when they were
“They were not so keen at spending their funds to build a university for
Nigeria until I refused to sign the contract for the Lagos to Ibadan
”I insisted that I will only sign if three things were done.
“The first thing is to take our children to China and train them by
giving them first degree in railway technology.
”Today as I speak, 60 of our children are in their second year and we
thank CCECC and 90 are on their way to China this week, making it 150.
”The second is that, if we must sign the purchase of locomotives in
China, they must build a factory were we can construct for coaches,
locomotives and wagon and today at Kajola that factory is being
”Finally, I insisted on the University of Transportation and today we
are here for the ground breaking of the University and for all we are
grateful to CCECC and the Chinese government.”
The minister commended the Governor of Katsina for the speed in which he
donated the land for the project.
He said the land which is about 413 hectares was donated by the Katsina
government and it has promised to increase it.
He also commended the various governors, ministers, stakeholders, the
Chinese government and all who have made the project a success.
The Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Ibrahim Hassan,
described the university as the first of its kind which would boost
economy and educational quest of Nigerians.
Mr Hassan said that Engineering courses as regards to transportation
would be introduced, adding that courses like Marine, road, rail and
inland water transportation would be the main focus.
On the challenges faced by the rail sector, he said the board was
committed to improving the welfare of staff and exposing them to modern
According to the Managing Director, NRC, Fidet Okhiria, the university
came about due to the persistence of the minister.
”Amaechi insisted that there should be a university as part of the
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the contractor that is
developing the rail industry in Nigeria that is the CRCC and the CCECC.
”We believe that from their profit they should do something meaningful
for Nigeria so that we can develop human capacity and Nigerians can
benefit from the on-going rail modernisation,” Mr Okhiria said.
On Nigeria’s commitment to the project, he said there was no
contribution from Nigeria except that we (Nigeria) gave them (the
contractors) work to modernise our rail.
On the completion of the project, Mr Okhiria said it could be about two
years, adding ”we hope that by the time we get the rail from Ibadan to
Kano the University should be in place”.
”And remember that we have about 150 Nigerians that we have sent to
China, among which some of them will become lecturers, some
practitioners in the rail engineering processes.
”So we expect them to get to PhD level and that is the idea of sending
them to China to specialize in transportation.
”So that by the time they come back here, we will have the lecturers in
place to pioneer and continue the process of indigenizing the
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the university would offer
courses and award degrees in Railway Engineering.