At the groundbreaking ceremony of Transportation University in Daura, Katsina State, recently Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said he had no regrets siting the transportation University in Daura. According to the minister,” 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 the 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”.
Amaechi said the establishment of the University was an attempt at responding to the question of how (Nigeria) will maintain the infrastructure it is building in the country. He stated that “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”.
The Transportation Minister said he engaged the companies, the first engagement being when they were constructing Lagos-Ibadan and were not so keen at spending their funds to build a university for Nigeria as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) until he refused to sign the contract for the Lagos to Ibadan railway.
He insisted to sign if three things were done; first is to take Nigerians to China and train them by giving them the first degree in railway technology but currently, 60 students are in their second year and “we thank CCECC and 90 are on their way to China this week, making it 150. Secondly, if Nigeria must sign the purchase of locomotives in China, they must build a factory where we can construct for coaches, locomotives and wagon and today at Kajola that factory is being constructed.
“Finally, I insisted on the University of transportation and today we are here for the groundbreaking 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), Mr Ibrahim Hassan, described the University as the first of its kind which would boost the economy and the educational quest of Nigerians.
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.