The Honourable Minister of Transportation who hosted the handing-over ceremony of the Federal University of Transportation, Nigeria (Phase 1), which was built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and donated to Nigeria, has stated that the completion of the Federal university Daura is indeed a huge achievement and of significant value for economic growth and social well-being through societal development.

Building the university was part of the corporate social responsibility by the Chinese contracting firm, CCECC.

The Minister of Transportation, Sen. Said Ahmed Alkali, during his remarks at the handing-over at Transcorp Hotel, Abuja, on the 17th May, 2024, stated that in addition to this giant project, the CCECC has also built the Kajola Rail Wagon Assembly Plant in Oyo State. He disclosed further that the corporation sponsored about 200 Nigerian undergraduate students in various Chinese universities and supplied medical equipment worth millions of Naira to Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic, all as part of corporate social responsibility.

In describing the Federal University of Transportation, sited at Daura, Alkali stated that “It is unique in form, standard in structure and has satisfied the requirement of the National University Commission (NUC), which attracted the enactment of its establishment Act No. 34 of 2022.”

Further speaking, the Minister, commended the CCECC for “the marvellous undertaking in support of educational development of Nigerian students and its initiative to hand-over the university to the Federal Ministry of Transportation for operation by management of the university.”

The Minister also commended the role of the pioneer Vice Chancellor, Prof. Umar Adam Katsayal, in working with the CCECC team to conclude Phase 1 of the project and for facilitating the handing over.

Alkali, stated that during his first inspection visit in October, 2023 after he assumed office as Minister of Transportation, the university had only the Vice Chancellor without principal officers, support staff with many outstanding logistics that are necessarily required to facilitate its take off.

‘’Barely seven months from October 2023, the Ministry under my leadership facilitated the release of some funds by CCECC from the capital allocation of Phase 1 of the project to fund logistics, travelling, sourcing for approvals for take-off, development of relevant documents for NUC, liaising with the Budget Office of the Federation, Accountant General of the Federation, Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, TETFUND, neighbouring Universities to secure mentorship, JAMB and the Federal Ministry of Education.

‘’As a result of this intervention and personal contacts with Ministries, the university has commenced academic activities for 2023/2024 session with principal officers/few support staff appointed; approval for take-off grant by the TETFUND has been granted, waiver for recruiting of essential staff has also been granted and the University has been graciously placed on the nation’s budget by His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to facilitate the realisation of the Renewed Hope Agenda, given the role of transportation as an enabler of economic growth; Alkali stated.

The Executive Governor of Katsina State, Dr. Umar Dikko Radda, who is the Governor of the host community to the university commended the Federal Government for their enormous support for considering establishing of the Federal University of Transportation Daura in Katsina State, also thanked the former President Muhammadu Buhari under whose leadership the university was sited in Daura, Katsina State, and also expressed his appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR that under his Renewed Hope Agenda, he was able to continue with the project under the leadership of the Present Minister of Transportation, Sen. Said Ahmed Alkali, whom he disclosed has been on the project since the assumption of office, for his outstanding supervision to see to the completion of the university.

The Chairman of China Civil Engineering Corporation Company (CCECC), Jason Zhang, stated that the completion of the Federal University Daura, marked a significant milestone in the realisation and dedication through deliverance of long-expected vision, noting that the existence of the university would strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and the Republic of China.

According to him, Federal University of Transportation, Daura is an investment by CCECC with the total amount of $50 million dollars as one of the ways in given back to Nigeria, to help in technical advancement, adding that the implementation of this project has provided more than 600 jobs, and many technical exchange programs were conducted.

Speaking earlier, the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Barr. Pius Oteh, said the vision in promoting the establishment and equipping of the university by CCECC, was not only to aid technology transfer, but also to improve technical education of the youths and to improve operational management of transportation infrastructure in Nigeria, but was also a testament to the need to advance and consolidate on the excellent relationship between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Daura, Prof. Umar Adam Katsayal who applauded the Chairman of the CCECC and his team for their outstanding support and dedication to the actualisation of the university, adding that the university being the first of its kind in Africa has recorded a historic milestone in the country. He therefore called on all Nigerians to use the opportunity to enrol themselves before people from other countries take advantage of the university.

According to the VC, the Federal Ministry of Transportation has contributed tremendously in terms of logistics and supervision for ensuring the actualisation of the Federal University of Transportation, Daura. While commending the leadership of the Ministry, he also expressed appreciation to the National University Commission for their tireless efforts after thorough verification and screening. He revealed that NUC approved 14 courses for the university’s take-off.

The VC also commended the leadership of the National Assembly for their maximum support to the Minister for all the necessary support to see that the university is properly established.

Report by Sanni Husaini (Senior Information and Public Relations Officer)

Olujimi Oyetomi

Director, Press & Public Relations.

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