The Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology ( NITT) Zaria, Kaduna state and the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) on Wednesday in far away Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the advancement of research collaborations, staff development programs and staff mobility and exchange.
In a statement issued in Abuja by Dr Obinna Nwachukwu, NITT’s media consultant, the MoU was signed by the Director –General/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Dr Bayero Salih Farah and UTM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi bin Ismail and witnessed by the Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Adegoroye Ademola Adewole and High Commissioner of Nigeria to Malaysia, Her Excellency Ambassador Dr Hajara Ibrahim Salim.
The program was initiated by the Director of the Centre for Innovative Planning and Development (CIPD), Prof. Ts. Dr. Muhammad Zaly Shah and NITT representative, Mr Barau Sani in 2020.
Pleased with the collaboration progress, UTM-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr Ahmad Fauzi said, “This collaboration is an important milestone in the relations between UTM and NITT. For this collaboration to be a success, I hope it can be transformed into tangible results. Therefore, I urge that this partnership continues to be at the forefront in the field of logistics and transportation, where new research and developments will occur.”
In his own speech, Prince Adegoroye Ademola Adewole, lauded the efforts by both UTM and NITT to develop competent human capital in the field of logistics and transportation. He said that UTM was chosen due to its world-class education and research offerings and high employability among its graduates.
To date, 16 NITT staff consisting of 11 PhDs and five MSc are undergoing various programs from in different faculties in UTM adding to the 321 Nigerian active students in UTM.
The agreement signing ceremony was part of a three-day official visit from 24 until 26 August 2022 to UTM’s Research Centres by the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) delegation hosted by CIPD and the Department of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of the university.
The agreement with the UTM Malaysia is in line with the NITT’s vision of seeking partnerships and collaboration with world class institutions to enhance research and development in the institute. Already, NITT has an existing affiliation with the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria for its Mphil and PhD programmes in transport and logistics
Established in 1986 and located on Basawa Road, Zaria, the Institute was established to among other things address the problems of the transport sector in Nigeria. It 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.
Recently, the institute secured the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) accreditation to run National Diploma and Higher National Diploma programmes in the various courses it offers.
According to the DG, the Institute is currently been repositioned as the premier integrated transportation training institute in the whole of West Africa adding that a lot of investments have taken place and more would happen. “It is not only the physical structures that have received facelift, new ones are being constructed; the staff welfare has been 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” he said.
He said the new face of NITT was recently unveiled with a clear-cut direction adding that so many things have been accomplished since 2019 when he assumed the leadership of the institute.
“We have streamlined 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; right now there is increased participation on the Institute’s short- and long-term programmes and 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 other centres”
The DG said the Institute is also investing in research and development. For instance, it acquired an 84-hectare parcel of land from Kaduna State Government to establish the 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.
One of its novel innovations is the electric Keke (tricycle) which the DG said they are improving on to the level that it can be used commercially. “We are also working on the electric car. We have a team of engineers working on the various elements of the electric car in different parts of the country. So, in the nearest future, we will have a breakthrough” he said.