Transforming NITT to suit Nigeria’s transportation needs

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The Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Kaduna state which was established on the 14th of March, 1986 via Decree No.6 (now CAP 116, LFN, 2004) to among other things address the problems of the transport sector in Nigeria is going through transformation and repositioning that stands out the institute slas a foremost developer. ADEOLA TUKURU writes.

The NIIT is the apex management development institute for transport and logistics in Nigeria and the West African Sub-region. 

NITT promotes career development and professional certification, corporate leadership and strategic management, training, conducts research and advisory services, engages in transport Intelligence and monitoring activities and adapts transport technology to suit Nigeria’s needs. 

Several milestones

Taking a look at the NITT with specific interests on the innovations and repositioning that has made the institute stand out as a foremost developer in Nigeria, since inception, the institute has recorded several milestones in infrastructure development and opening up new training centers across the six geopolitical zones. 

Over the years the Institute has trained thousands of professionals in the transportation industry in diverse specializations. However, the institute has grappled with challenges ranging from inadequate funding, and low patronage of its academic programmes and services despite huge potentials to improve skills set in spite its training facilities.

Change initiative

The Director General/Chief Executive, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Dr. Bayero Salih Farah while affirming these explained that upon his assumption of office in 2019, rolled out a change initiative with a view to revolutionising the Institute’s programmes and services.

The change initiative has not only led to the revamping of the physical structures at NITT but, new ones are being constructed; staff welfare enhanced and more staff recruited to beef up our manpower needs. Also, new NITT centres have been opened across the country to make the Institute more accessible to all parts of the country. 

The NITT DG further explained that the deliberate investments at the institute is to respond to the deficit in transportation professionals in Nigeria and even West Africa.

NITT Enabling Act

The investments he listed but, not limited to these included: streamlining the NITT Enabling Act, Conditions and Scheme of Service, broadened the scope of the institute’s programmes and collaborations amongst other things with support from the relevant authorities, increased participation on the institute’s short- and long-term programmes and have established Annexes in Ebonyi, Kano, Gombe, Ekiti and Katsina states to complement the existing ones in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt. Work is also going on in the Makurdi centre. 

Others he said are: Renovated, furnished and equipped the following facilities with electronics, namely; the NITT Main Auditorium, the Institute’s Library, the 20-Room Executive Hostel and the Masters in Transport & Logistics Classroom.

Providing medical services to the community

Dr. Farah also said the NITT Clinic was renovated and expanded in scope and operation to provide medical services to the institute community and members of the public adding that management is currently working to ensure the Clinic begins providing NHIS services. 

Speaking further he said: “We acquired a 84-hectare parcel of land from Kaduna State Government to establish Institute’s Jathropa Farm for bio-fuel production and secured another 40-hectare of land from Sabin Gari Local Government in Zaria towards building the Institute’s Drivers Development and Training Centre. Also the NITT is on the verge of securing the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) accreditation for running of National Diploma programmes in Crane Operations, Welding and Fabrication and Mechatronics in the Institute.”

Training and re-training of staff

“We are also working on streamlining programme for training and re-training of staff,  up-graded Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities in the institute, such that all our Annexes are connected to the internet. We have completed construction works in the NITT Phase II Participants’ Hostel 11. Completed construction works in the DG/CE’s new office building and enhanced water supply in the Institute by drilling more bore-holes” he noted.

Other projects according to the DG are: Established and equipped the NITT Multi-media Laboratory with state-of-the art Communication facilities, Established and equipped the National Transport Data Bank facility in the Institutes with state-of-the-art equipment for real-time collection of transport data across all modes and established and equipped the Multi-lingual Library in the Institute with state of-the-art language translators to provide for training of participants from Francophone countries especially.

He indicated that the above projects have been completed while some other projects are at various stages of procurements. These include; Construction of Training Department Office, Construction of Transport School Office Extension, Construction of 2 Transport Technology Centre (TTC) Department Blocks of 6 classrooms apiece, Construction of TTC Wedding and Fabrication Laboratory, Construction of TTC Soil and Pavement Laboratory, Construction of one new Female Participants’ Hostel, and the Construction of one new Male Participants’ Hostel.

Need to improve research and training

Beyond these,  the [nstitute is building business partnerships and educational collaborations with public and private institutions within and outside Nigeria. The aim of this collaborative partnership is to improve research and trainings, give staff and students the opportunity to acquire local and international experiences and as well promote best practices in the Nigerian Transport and Logistics industry.

In this regards, the institute has recently signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ITs (UK), Multimix Academy, Lagos and similar discussions are ongoing with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Abuja for technical support and knowledge sharing relevant to the needs of some of the major Institutes projects such as the development of the National Transport data bank, the ITS Center and the language laboratory amongst other things.

Human capacity development

To better perform its critical role of providing research and training amongst other things for the Nigerian transport sector, NITT is initiating and implementing workable strategy for human capacity development. This is tailored at filling the capacity gaps in the industry. In this regard, the Institute has currently sponsored not less than 16 staff to study in various areas of transport and logistics at home and abroad.

In keeping abreast with trends in the global automobile industry, NITT is deepening its research in the development of alternative fuel (bio-fuel & hydrogen fuel) as well as innovative vehicle technology such as hybrid (electric) vehicles in line with the current government policy. At the moment, the Institute’s team of engineers are working on an NITT model of hybrid (electric) tricycle, which has reached an advanced stage. This we hope to launch it as soon as work is completed on it. Similarly, NITT has deployed a team of committed engineers to work on the Institute’s model of electric vehicle in liaison with industry captains and other relevant governments Institutions with the view of making this dream a reality.

By far, the current administration is working around the clock to elevate the standard of the Institute to enable it achieve its vision of becoming a leading transport and logistics institute in the continent. As a matter of fact, this administration hopes to make NITT a renowned institute for provision of world class training and research in the transport and logistics industry.

Commenting, the former DG NITT, Prof. Femi Abdulganiyu Sumaila, said the NITT has no doubt achieved a lot but “the conceptualisation of the existing Act limits the scope and activities of the NITT. We have discovered that there is a lot the NITT can accomplish thus the move to amend its extant law. 

“Over the years, we just concentrated on training employees in the transport sector. The problem is how many agencies do we have in the transport sector? But today we are extending the scope to cover all modes of transport and indeed the logistics industry, which is wide” he noted.

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