Minister of Transportation; Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has defended the planned construction of Transportation University in Daura, Katsina State.
Daura is the hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari and the construction of the N18 billion project is scheduled to start in 2019.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Amaechi said there is nothing special about building the university in the president’s hometown since “Daura is also part of Nigeria”.
“The president did not even know I will choose Daura. The reason, Daura is part of Nigeria. If we sited it in Sokoto, it is still part of Nigeria. So why is the emphasis on Daura?” he asked.
“If I had chosen Port Harcourt, Enugu, that is the same way I would have chosen Daura. The people of Daura should not be deprived of these things because the president is from there.”
Meanwhile, a member of the Katsina House of Assembly, Alhaji Nasir Yahaya, has commended the federal government for citing the nation’s first transportation university in Daura, his constituency.
Transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi, who announced the citing of the university in Daura, last month, said that 50 million dollars (about N18 billion) would be sunk into the project.
He said that work would soon begin at the site, adding that the construction would be handled by the China Civil and Construction Company (CCECC).
He had announced that the project was part of the Federal Government’s efforts to develop qualified manpower that would manage the many railways facilities across the country and other transportation facilities.
The minister, who spoke in Abuja, said that another Transportation University might be built in Rivers State to meet the growing demand of manpower in the transportation sector.
According to Amaechi, construction work would have commenced if the government of Katsina State had provided land for the institution much earlier.
He said that young Nigerians being trained on scholarship in China on Railway engineering would be deployed to teach in the universities.
“If we get the land, the fencing will start this year. The CCECC has written to ask for land from the state government,” he said.
Yahaya, who lauded the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Daura on Saturday, said that the university would open up academic and economic activities in the area and provide jobs to its youths.
“The Daura community is highly excited over this development. We are happy that our area will host the first transportation in the country.
“As a community, we shall support the institution and cooperate with its management when it is eventually established,” he said.
The legislator also commended the federal government’s efforts toward providing infrastructure, especially the construction of rail lines, the rehabilitation of roads and the mass improvement in the power sector.
Yahaya said that a delegation from Katsina and Daura would soon pay a thank you visit to the Federal Ministry of Transportation to register the people’s appreciation over the citing of the university in the area.