Rotimi Amaechi, the Hon. Minister for Transportation, at the groundbreaking ceremony of the University, said he had no regrets for citing the University in Daura.
This is in response to criticism the minister has attracted for the decision to cite the location of the country’s first sole transportation university in Daura – which also happens to be the president’s hometown.
In a statement read to the media, Amaechi said as follows:
”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,”
said the Minister.
Amaechi explained that the establishment of the University was in response to how Nigeria would maintain its railway and other critical transportation systems within the country.
“I engaged the companies, the first engagement was when they were constructing Lagos-Ibadan.
“They were not so keen at spending their funds to build a university in Nigeria until I refused to sign the contract for the Lagos to Ibadan railway.
“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 a 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 where we can construct 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. (sic).”
The Minister commended the Governor of Katsina for the speed with 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.