National News

Senate passes bill to establish $50m transportation university in Buhari’s hometown, ignores NMU, Okerenkoko

The Senate has passed a bill that seeks to establish a Federal University of Transportation in President Muhammadu Buhari’s hometown, Daura, Katsina State.

The proposed university is pegged at $50 million and is already 50 per cent completed.

The bill was passed during plenary on Wednesday after the lawmakers considered a report by the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

The committee was tasked with conducting public hearing and further legislative work after the second reading of the bill.

Sponsored by Oyo senator, Abdulfatai Buhari, the legislation seeks to give legal backing to the proposed university, which he described as the first of its kind in Nigeria and Africa.

During the second reading, the senator had said the institution will properly safeguard and sustain the huge investment of the federal government in the land transport sector.

He also said it will boost and complement the wagon assembly plant situated at Kajola, Ogun State.

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The bill, he added, seeks to address the need for a transport-focused education, training and research-based institution to compliment the dearth of human capacity in the transportation sector with a deepened focus on the nation’s rejuvenated railways.

It could be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari has in 2019 declined assent to a bill seeking the establishment of Nigeria Maritime University in Okerenkoko Delta State. The decision was conveyed to the Senate in a letter on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Mr Buhari stated the excessive proposed source of funding for the institution as the major reason for his decline.


Both the senator and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had disclosed that $50 million will be used to establish the university.

In August 2020, Mr Amaechi also disclosed that the university will be constructed free of charge by the Chinese government.

The idea behind the $50 million university is to acquire technology needed to operate the railway system currently being built by China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) when the Chinese withdraw, he said.

The Minister had also directed contractors to include a primary and secondary school in the master plan to cater for schooling needs of children of families who will be working there.


Prior to the passage of the bill, the Senate considered the report of the committee.

Chairman of the panel, Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina North), who presented the report, said the establishment of the university would allow Nigerians access to modern knowledge, emerging techniques and skills in the transport industry.

Besides providing required knowledge to prospective students to enhance Nigeria’s transportation sector and make them drivers of the industry, he said the development of the transport sector by knowledge transfer and capacity building would in turn generate employment opportunities for Nigerians.

“The envisaged University of Transportation has immense benefits, especially in closing the huge gap in knowledge about transportation business and enhancing technical skills while ensuring technology transfer from the most developed nations such as China, USA, South Korea, etc to benefit the Nigerian transportation industry.

“The University of Transportation Daura, which is expected to provide the manpower needs of the Nigerian transport systems and the Nigerian Railway, would be the first in the West African sub-region with the potentials of wooing Africans and foreign investors to invest and acquire advanced knowledge in research and exploration of scientific innovation in the transport sector.”

After a clause-by-clause consideration by the Committee of the Whole, the bill was passed.

This would be the second institution the Senate will approve in Daura.

The lawmakers had passed a bill to establish a federal polytechnic in the local government in November 2018.

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