The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, says the University of Transportation, being constructed at Daura, Kastina State, would boost the transfer of technology from China to Nigeria.
Amaechi expressed this sentiment during his interaction with journalists after a private meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
Construction works in the university project began in December 2019.
The China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) is building the university as part of its corporate social responsibility.
The minister said that the university would domesticate railway engineering and impact Nigerians with the technical know-how on train manufacturing and servicing.
“The key to the development of any nation is education; so, if we are building transport technology university in Daura; essentially, there will be transfer of technology from the Chinese to Nigerians.
“We need to know how to build our trains, our coaches, our locomotives, our tracks and all that constitutes railway technology, including maritime and aviation; it is completely a transport university.
“Now, if you go to Kajola, Ogun State, they are building a factory to manufacture locomotives and the railway stuff; how will Nigerians be part of that manufacturing if they are not trained?’’
Amaechi said that the Lagos-Ibadan railway line would be ready by December.
He said that small stations had yet to be completed, but expressed optimism that they would be completed by the end of October.
“It is just the stations that are holding us; the big stations will also be ready before the end of December; I hope that the Ebute-Meta station, which is very huge, will be ready by the end of December.
“Even if the station is not ready, the rest will be ready by the end of December; so, we are good to go by the end of December.’’
Besides, Amaechi noted that the current ticketing costs for rail transportation were customer-friendly.
He blamed the lull in railway services on paucity of funds, but said that arrangements had been made to ensure that the rail sector was able to pay staff salaries, effect repairs of equipment and run on its own.