Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi has said the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) in Zaria, Kaduna State, has the capacity to design “made-in-Nigeria” vehicles.
A statement yesterday in Zaria by is Director of Public Affairs, Mr Paul Mshelizah, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the minister spoke this during a familiarisation and facility tour of the institute.
It was during the repositioning retreat organised by the institute.
Amaechi said: “NITT has all it takes to design a car. I am sure the institute could convince the Federal Government that it has what it takes to design a made-in-Nigeria car.
“From design, to engine to body, then funding will not be an issue. We can create patency for NITT.”
The minister expressed satisfaction with the facilities but advised its management to ensure proper use and adequate maintenance of the equipment.
Amaechi also advised the NTT to seek accreditation from National Universities Commission (NUC) to run certain diploma programmes toward metamorphosing into a full-fledged university of transport and logistics.
The minister pledged the ministry’s support to create more faculties in the institute.
He called for a holistic perusal of the institute’s enabling law to know the scope of its mandate.
At its biodiesel laboratory, Amaechi urged the institute to expand the project aimed at producing made-in-Nigeria vehicles by establishing a feedstock farm for renewable energy.
He told NITT to factor into the 2021 budget the acquisition of about “200 hectares of land” to start the project.
The minister suggested that in subsequent budgets, personnel and other logistics for effective operation of the feedstock farm might be captured.
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This, he said, can attract private investors to cue into the project.
Interacting with NITT N-Power automobile participants, the minister admonished them to be disciplined in everything they do.
Amaechi assured them of Federal Government’s commitment towards the success of the N-Power scheme, adding: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is interested in lifting people out of poverty.
“As potential entrepreneurs, you can create jobs by training a number of people in your workshop.
“I, therefore, enjoin you to utilise optimally the skills acquired through the scheme for personal gain as well as for the country at large.”
Speaking on behalf of the NITT N-Power participants, Mr Abdulazeez Owoseni-Salihu hailed the social investment programme of the present administration, especially the N-Power scheme.
Owoseni-Salihu noted that the scheme had not only empowered the beneficiaries but also changed their mind-sets toward self-sufficiency.
He appealed to the Federal Government to “kindly” provide N-Power graduates with “contemporary machines to enable them go into the field to practice the skills acquired”.
Amaechi, who answered reporters’ questions at the end of the facility tour, said: “I am satisfied with the facilities. All they need is just governance.
“In terms of equipment, they are doing well. But as professionals, they must put the equipment to use.
“The Federal Government will ensure that areas where you have infrastructure are properly funded.
“But you need to show that you are not only able to transfer knowledge but also able to supervise the trainees so that we can create employment.”
NITT’s Acting Director-General, Dr Bayero Salih-Farah, explained that the institute was accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to run Diploma and Advanced Diploma programmes.
He said NITT had entered into affiliation with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, to run postgraduate and Master’s degree programmes.
The acting director-general thanked the minister for not only attending the event personally but also visiting the institute’s headquarters in Zaria.
NAN reports that the facilities inspected included the new office of the director-general, main auditorium and the state-of-the-art facilities at the Transport Technology Centre (TTC) among others.