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Diversification: NITT can pull the surprise button

Nigeria is a nation loved by God and blessed with abundant human and material resources including crude oil and solid mineral deposits scattered in virtually each of the 774 local government areas in the country. But while the country’s main source of revenue has remained crude oil, other essential non-oil sectors have remained largely untapped.

However, in the midst of these and with calls for diversification of the country’s main revenue source, many Nigerians including the federal government appear ignorant of the existence of a major revenue earner for the country lying somewhere in Kaduna state. Located in the relatively known village called Bassa, along the busy Zaria-Gusau road, the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) has all it takes to boost the revenue base of Nigeria. It has modern state-of the-art facilities, well-trained professionals, energetic and hardworking staff and serene environment for both learning and enterprise development, amongst others.

The institute to those in the know can be described as a hidden treasure waiting to be tapped. The facilities are comparable to anyone in the world with capacity to manufacture vehicles in Nigeria if given the needed attention. The institute was established in 1986 by Decree No 6 of March 14 (now CAP 116 of the Federal Laws of Nigeria) as a Transport Management Development and Research Institute for Nigeria and the West African Sub-region. By this legal instrument, the Institute is expected to serve as a:

(i) Management Training Institute for all aspects of transport; (ii) Centre for transfer of technology in all aspects of the transport sector; (iii) Transport Intelligence Centre; and

(iv) Data Bank for the collection, collation and analysis of all economic and technological data relating to all aspects of transportation

Apparently fascinated by the standard of equipment in NITT, the Hon. Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi during his maiden visit to the complex last year affirmed that it has all it takes to manufacture a car “from design to engine to body”. Amaechi pledged government’s support to enable NITT become a full fledged university. “I am satisfied with the facilities I have seen here, all the Institute needs is just governance. In terms of equipment, they’re doing well”, he stated.

In line with the Minister’s mandate, the Institute’s Council is exploring all avenues that could make it self-sustaining, improve staff welfare, enhance their performance capacity and generate revenue to the government, by making it a world standard organization. Recently, it started a major exposition in rail, the idea being to train the manpower not only to operate the systems but also to ensure it has proper mechanics.

So far the institute has made substantial investment with the support of the Federal Government in the provision of facilities. It established outreach centres in about six locations across the country and has provided facilities in those centres some of which have been commissioned and have taken bold steps of training some of its staff at local and foreign institutions to enable them acquire current knowledge in the logistics and transport industry and that has helped a lot. Nigerian Institute of Trans-port Technology (NITT), Zaria is a transport training and research institute in all modes of transport.

Also recently it recorded some landmark achievements. One of which is the establishment of an Intelligence Transport System (ITS) unit in Vienna, Austria to trace the movement of stolen vehicles from Nigeria. The ITS office was set up to facilitate tracking of vehicles and promote the image of Nigeria Internationally. Others include the establishment of new departments and affiliation of the institute’s postgraduate programmes to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria to cater for students who might be unable to come to Zaria because of the distance. The Institute has equally commenced Distance Learning Programmes (DLP) in Abuja and Lagos.

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