It is with great Honour and privilege that, I welcome, The President Muhammadu Buhari to this very special event of the ground breaking ceremony of the proposed University of Transportation here in Daura, Katsina State.
2. Mr. President may wish to respectfully recall that, the contractor handling the Railway Modernization Projects, Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) had during the World Transport convention held in China in 2017 declared a commitment to establish a University of Transportation in Nigeria to cement the Bilateral relationship between Federal Republic of Nigeria and People’s Republic of China by way of building local capacity to meet the technology transfer requirement of Nigeria through tangible corporate social responsibility projects.
3. The University when established would among other things pave way for domestication of railway engineering and general Transportation sciences in Nigeria as an addition to localization of manufacturing of railways and railway related Infrastructure thereby bridging the technology and skill gap in the Railway Sub-Sector.
4. As a follow up to the above commitment, Messrs CCECC has led various Chinese Institutions to Nigeria where they visited some Nigerian Universities including ABU Zaria; University of Lagos; University of Ibadan; University of Abuja and Rivers State University of Science & Technology, Port Harcourt as well as Federal Ministry of Education and National Universities Commission to conduct preliminary studies on the modalities for the establishment of a transportation university in Nigeria.
5. In addition to the establishment of the University, Messrs CCECC in August 2018 granted undergraduate scholarships to Sixty (60) Nigerian students to study various courses in Railway Engineering and Sciences at Chag’an University, Xian and Central South University, Changsha in China.
6. Mr. President, permit me to thank that the Government of Katsina State for the speed with which it granted approval in December, 2018 and set aside this piece of land measuring 413Ha situated here in Sandamu Local Government Area, Daura Emirate for the construction of the Transportation University immediately I submitted the request.
7. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, may I at this juncture express my profound gratitude to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering commitment and support towards the Railway Development and Modernization in Nigeria. We are indeed most honoured today His Excellency, the President took time out of his very busy schedule to personally perform the Ground Breaking of this laudable project.
8. I also wish to register our appreciation to the members of the National Assembly especially members of the Senate and House Committee on Land Transport for their support and physical presence at this occasion. My personal gratitude goes to the Governor of Katsina who offered a large mass of land for the construction of this University. To my colleagues, other Honourable Ministers here present as well as the Governors of Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna States, I thank you all for the solidarity.
9. Finally, let me appreciate other distinguish personalities here present even when I cannot mention you individually and commend Messrs CCECC Nigeria Limited for its effort and commitment for the support in our drive for technology transfer.
10. Thank you and God Bless you all.