Plan to Move N49 billion Dockyard Components of the Nigerian Maritime University, Niger-Delta Cries Out


Tayo Afolabi     |         

High Chief Michael Johnny of Gbaramutu Kingdom in Delta State has risen against alleged plan to move the N49 billion Dockyard components of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko to either Port Harcourt or Lagos.

Chief Johnny, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) said such move could engender hostility in the land.

The facility which is currently at Marina anchorage in Lagos, is rated as Africa’s fifth largest modular Dockyard even as hope rises that it would promote local dry-docking thereby placing Nigeria as centre for vessels maintenance.

A statement signed by the APC leader in Gbaramatu Kingdom over the weekend, disclosed that moves by some officials of government to tamper with the original master plan and structure of the maritime university to divert the facility, will certainly trigger fresh hostility in the region. 

High Chief Johnny also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Dakuku Peterside to ensure that the dockyard gets to the permanent site of the university at Okerenkoko, adding that people of the region were excited on the approval and take off of the school with funds subsequently allocated for its smooth operations. 

He said: “As a chieftain of APC in Gbaramatu Kingdom, I have been reliably informed of the plan to divert a component (dockyard) of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, to Port Harcourt, Rivers State or Lagos State.

“I had also discovered that the dockyard has been in Lagos for close to two weeks for onward shipment to the permanent site of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Warri South West local government area of Delta State.

“But because of the secret agenda to divert the dockyard, the government officials saddled with the responsibility to transport the dockyard from Lagos to Delta, have deliberately refused to do so. 

The APC leader further urged President Buhari to closely monitor the activities of some of his top appointees from the Niger Delta region, as some of them are secretly frustrating the efforts of his administration in the region. 

Chief Johnny told President Buhari that, “It will amaze you that since the plot to stop the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko, has failed, the same people are making another plan to divert the dockyard, a major component of the university to Rivers or Lagos State and this is a calculated attempt to render the maritime university useless”.

According to him, whoever that is planning to divert the dockyard of the university to a different destination can be described as an enemy of the President and the entire Niger Delta region. 

He added that “Despite our major contributions to the oil revenue of Nigeria, the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom were mostly humiliated, intimidated and marginalized by the previous governments, but with your approval for the take-off of Nigerian Maritime University, successful admission of students, engagement of staff and appointment of board of governing council to oversee the affairs of the university, indeed, you have given us hope and a good reason to trust and have confidence in your administration, “he added. 

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