President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State, performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the pioneer University of Transportation in Nigeria.
He said University which will be the first of its kind in Africa, would provide technical skills, enhance managerial capacity and pave way for innovation in Nigeria’s transport system, while creating more job opportunities.
President Buhari noted that the transport sector was in dire need of new thinking, skills and investment, assuring that the university will open up opportunities for economic growth.
“The project is part of the ongoing effort of the Federal Government towards promotion and development of indigenous capacity through technology acquisition and knowledge transfer to effectively maintain and operate numerous railway infrastructure.
“When established the university would among other things pave way for domestication of railway engineering and general transportation sciences in Nigeria thereby bridging the technology and skill gap in the railway and ultimately transportation sector,’’ he stated.
President Buhari said the university, an investment by China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), would be fully supported by the Federal Government with guidelines to ensure domestication that will support local infrastructure.
While commending the Katsina State government for speedily providing land for the university, and the Ministry of Transportation for the initiative, the President added that his administration would continue to prioritize railway transportation to reduce cost of transportation and ease movement.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the siting the university in Daura will encourage cultural exchange as well as fill the gap in technical and managerial skills for the transport sector.
“The decision to bring this university to Daura was purely mine,’’ he said, while noting that many had described his action as sycophancy.