By Shorunke Tunde
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, at the weekend laid the foundation stone for the Institute of Transport and Logistics at the Gregory University, Uturu (GUU) in Abia State.
The institute upon completion, will offer specialised transportation courses and is expected to provide specialised laboratories for maritime and oceanography, aviation/aeronautic, designing and construction suites, aerospace engineering, central machining tools centre, railway engineering and simulation rooms.
Amaechi said as transport minister, he would be willing to partner and encourage the university in its initiative to educate Nigerians in the transportation and logistics field, taking advantage of the Federal Government’s development strides in transportation, particularly the rail and maritime sectors.
“We will see how we will partner the university in the Ministry of Transportation, especially when we start the construction of the Bonny-Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line.
“We are very particular about localising railway technology; that’s why we are training our people in China and even made them to build a transportation university and a wagon Assembly plant here in Nigeria,” Amaechi said.
While making the commencement speech at the university’s eighth matriculation ceremony, Amaechi narrated his political story, from his days as a student union leader, to speakership, governorship and now minister.
He encouraged the students to be diligent, have the fear of God and be courageous to ensure that they succeed.
Chancellor and founder of GUU, Prof. Gregory Iyke Ibe, said he was inspired by Amaechi’s developmental strides in the transportation ministry and the school is enthusiastic to tap into that sector and aid the growth and training of Nigerians to become professionals in transportation engineering and technology.
He said, “What we are doing here is to input technology, change methodology and then we are succeeding and one of the things that we must succeed in line with your agenda in the ministry is to have this institute here, so that we can now train everybody. This university has a printing press, a paint factory, a sew factory, everything is produced here, we do fibre glasses here. Everything we do here, we do it because technology is done by human beings and I don’t see any reason why our Nigerian boys and girls who are well gifted cannot be trained in what we are doing.
“Any skill we get into, we perfect it, and in transport, to support the ministry, we are now creating something that you’ve come here to lay the foundation.”