‘NITT Partnering FG To Exit Subsidy Regime’- Salih-Farah
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
The Director General, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) Zaria, Dr. Bayero Salih-Farah said the Institute is currently exploring avenue to assist the federal government to transit successfully out of its subsidy regime system.
The NITT DG who made the disclosure Thursday when the Minister of transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo visited the institute on a familiarization tour. The minister who had earlier charged Salih-Farah and his management to translate its giant strides in research, training and transport infrastructural development into a self-sustaining institution instead of relying on government funding, added that NITT has no business going cap in hand to the National Assembly every year to seek appropriation.
Sambo who was accompanied on the visit by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani and other top officials said: “NITT has no business going cap in hand to the National Assembly every year looking for appropriation. From what I have seen, there is a lot of money, you’re not making here.
“There’s no need for the agencies in the Transportation Sector to send their staff abroad for training when we have such institution right here in Zaria. There is no need wasting the scarce resources in such training outside”.
The minister lamented that despite the ‘huge investments’ in the transportation sector by the present administration in the last seven years, “a lot still needs to be done to advance the Transportation Sector to enable Nigeria to overcome the deficit in the sector”.
All the same, he patted the NITT helmsman and his management team on the shoulder for the much they have achieved in the area of training, research and investment on infrastructures, and urged them to provide leading role that will put Nigeria’s Transport sector in its rightful place in the global space; even as he recommended the upgrade of its curriculum to meet with present day demands.
“You need to upgrade your curriculum according to global best practices and affiliate with various research institutions thereby increasing the knowledge base of lecturers and beneficiaries. This is necessary to place the Institute on a high pedestal and as a training hub in Nigeria, Africa and the World at large”.
Responding, Salih-Farah assured the minister that the institute is on top of its game and will continue to upgrade to offer necessary support to government and the transportation sector in general.
Officials of the ministry quoted him as follows: “the Institute is complementing the effort of the present administration in exiting the patrol subsidy regime through the provision of alternative energy source to the transportation sector.
“The Institute is currently in talks with the National Gas Expansion Programme Committee to provide the technical manpower that will engineer the process of converting all fossil fuel driven vehicles to use either Compressed National Gas (CNG), Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) or the Liquified Premium gas (LNG).
“Furthermore, the Institute is planning to champion the process of conversion and production of the conversion kits in the very near future. The Institute has compliments of equipment and facilities to achieve this”, the DG said, adding:
“The services of the institution is closer to the people, across the geopolitical zones, the Institute has established and equipped Outreach Learning Centres in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Gombe, Kano, Ebonyi, Abuja, Katsina and Ekiti; with state-of-the-art training equipment, aimed at bringing her programmes and services to the door steps of existing and prospective clients”.
The further DG explained that the courses which are both short-term and long-term basis are run throughout the year, adding that the institution is currently training over 4,000 youth across the country in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The DG however said its major challenge is finance, and called on the minister to intervene in the area of budgetary constraints and the need to strengthen its legal Instruments to enable it keep pace with the current realities in the industry, to enable it to continue to play its role in research, training and technology innovation.
He said, “In view of the enormous tasks before the Institute and in order to fully deliver our mandate to the Transport Sector and the Nigerian economy at large, we are appealing to the Honourable Minister to kindly assist the Institute with alternative and more reliable source of funding.”
The minister and his entourage were taking on a tour of the institute’s Painting Booth, Welding Workshop, Automotive Workshop, Driving Simulation Laboratory among others; after which he commissioned the new Bursary Building, and did the foundation laying ceremony of the directors quarters.