By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The Governing Council, Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Olorogun John Onojeharho, has described the Institute as a hidden treasure that needs to be opened up to the world.
The Chairman stated this while fielding questions from journalists.
He said “as a Council, one of our major focus is to achieve the required visibility for NITT.”
He noted that a lot of efforts had been made in that direction, including the Minister of Transportation’s recent visit to the Institute as well as the proposed visit by the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, said “the Council also has been interfacing with sister organizations like NIMATA, MAN Oron, Railway and every organization that needs the resources of NITT”.
He said, commercialization was the way to go, In his words, “we shall be discussing how to be commercialized and focused of what we have”.
“I think NITT can stand on its own and even generate revenue for the government”.
Explaining how to go about commercializing the Institute, Mr.Olorogun John asserted one of the ways we are going to do that is to see which of the departments can be commercialized.
“We don’t need to depend solely on Government; we are going to develop what I term new ways of working which includes commercialization of our research findings”.
On the issue of making NITT a degree awarding Institute, the Chairman revealed that the National Board for Technical Education had screened some of the Institute’s courses and given a tentative approval to run Ordinary National Diploma programmes.
According to the chairman, “our vision, our bigger dream is that we will metamorphose into a recognized transport University”.
Olorogun John Onojeharho observed that he was not oblivious of the challenges facing the Institute, but maintained that the challenges are surmountable.
While identifying poor attitude to work and lack of adequate funding as the major challenges bedeviling the Institute,he maintained that staff need reorientation in order to embrace “value addition”, which was part of the paradigm shift the Council had proposed.
On the funding, the chairman stated “we can do with more funds, but I think we can do better if we generate our own funds and improve our IGR”.
Also answering questions from Journalists, the Acting Director General/Chief Executive of the Institute, Dr. Bayero Salih Farah, said his appointment came with huge challenges and expectations.
He noted that he was poised to overcoming the challenges and meeting the expectations via a new style of leadership that would bring out the best in members of staff.
Dr. Farah said that his “vision for the Institute was for it to achieve its target of being the leading transport and logistics institute, not only in Nigeria, but also in West Africa”.
He disclosed that Management and the Board had mapped out medium and long term plans to realize this vision.
The Ag. DG stressed that “transport education is relatively new in the country” observed that NITT being “the pioneer Institute in the field is saddled with a very big responsibility to provide efficient facility in the transport and logistics industry in Nigeria.
According to him, “the Institute took steps in training some of its staff in both foreign and local institutions to enable them acquire current knowledge in transport and logistics, and that has helped our facility a lot”
He said, the Institute could not give all needed transport education alone, but it’s collaborating with both local and international organizations to achieve that. He added that the Kaduna State Government had been very supportive.
Apart from establishing outreach centres in all geopolitical zones in the country, the Ag. DG observed that “NITT is one of the organizations where you can find employees from every State of the federation.
There is no State in the country that is not represented in our nominal roll”, he said.
When pressed on the issue of abandoned project, the Ag. DG/CE asserted that “we don’t have any abandoned project”, a fact, corroborated by the Chairman of the Governing Council.
Dr. Bayero Sailh Farah said he would like to be remembered for leading the “Institute to achieve its objectives of being the leading transport and logistics operation and management centre of excellence in Africa