Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that the decision to site the proposed University of Transportation in Daura, Katsina State is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari”s Executive Order 5, for the planning and execution of projects, is starting to yield results.
The Minister made the remark in defence of the President who has come under fire for situating the planned university in his hometown of Daura.
Onu said in a statement that the Executive Order “marks a revolutionary effort” that will help move the country toward developing the necessary local human capital needed to fight poverty, create jobs, strengthen local manpower development, encourage indigenous technology capacity and enhance self-reliance.
Onu said 60 years ago, the rail system was operational as a means of public transportation, but that it had since become inoperative due to a lack of local capacity to maintain the system. He said that by establishing a transportation school, the government expects that Nigerians will acquire the skills and training necessary to run and improve the country’s transportation system, including its rail network.
“On February 2, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Presidential Executive Order No. 5 for the Planning and Execution of Projects, Programmes and Contracts with Science, Engineering and Technology Component,” Onu stated.
“This marks a revolutionary effort that will help move Nigeria toward developing the necessary local human capital she badly needs to fight poverty, create jobs, strengthen local manpower development, encourage indigenous technology capacity and enhance national self-reliance.
“This is better appreciated when we remember that some 60 years ago, the rail system was operational as a means of public transportation. It is sad that for a very long time, the rail system became inoperative because we lacked the indigenous capacity to even maintain the system. It is indeed heartwarming that with Executive Order No. 5, appropriate measures are being put in place to ensure that what happened in the past will not repeat itself in the future so as to ensure that the rail systemacross the country will be properly managed with indigenous manpower.
“We are happy that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology supervises the implementation of the Order as a conscious effort to help ensure that Nigeria takes her rightful place among nations whose economy are dependent on knowledge and are innovation driven. It is therefore a welcome development that the choice of this initiative in establishing the University of Transportation in Daura, Katsina State, shows the Executive Order 5 as an important instrument that will stimulate self-reliance in our development process,” Onu said.