02 February 2016, Lagos – Some Niger Delta youths, under the aegis of Youth Coalition Force for Niger Delta, said they have petitioned the National Assembly over an alleged plan by the Federal Government to cancel the Nigerian Maritime University, sited at Okerenkoko, in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The move, according to the group, was in reaction to a recent statement credited to the Minister for Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, that there was a plan to scrap the Nigerian Maritime University.
The group said it was worried that since Amaechi made the statement on January 19 when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Maritime Transport, the Presidency had not said anything over the issue, confirming that Amaechi was speaking the mind of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement on Monday by its spokesperson, Gabriel Godson-Ndinwa, YCFND said it found Amaechi’s statement not only embarrassing and humiliating but also to be a reflection of the “negative perspective of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on the Niger Delta Region.”
It urged Buhari to either disown Amaechi on the planned scrapping of the Nigerian Maritime University or be tagged “an anti-Niger Delta.”
It also urged the President to direct the acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Haruna Jauro, to immediately release the N2bn take-off grant which NIMASA had earlier approved for the university but which Jauro allegedly stopped by directing United Bank for Africa not to release the fund to the university.
It claimed that other institutions, such as Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State and the Federal University Kashere, Gombe State had already benefited from the take-off grant which was approved in the 2015 by the Federal Legislative Council and the Federal Government.