02 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos – A former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Power Ziakede Aginighan, says the proposed Nigeria Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko, in Delta State, meant a lot to the Niger Delta people, urging the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, to work for the take-off of the university instead of scrapping it.
According to the former NDDC boss, the minister should release the already appropriated take-off fund to the university.
He said the idea of siting a tertiary educational institution in the crude oil and gas-rich Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State was first proposed and adopted under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo as a critical component in the roadmap to peace and sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
“Gbaramatu Kingdom and other communities in the coastal belt of Nigeria account for over 70% of the crude oil and gas output of Nigeria with concomitant devastation of the environment and threats on their means of livelihood. Paradoxically, this territory has been largely alienated from the mainstream of national development without any development,” Aginighan said,adding that “for the Niger Delta and the nation in general, the advantages of having the university far outweigh every argument to the contrary”.
“Apart from capacity building for Nigerians in the maritime industry, bringing in direct foreign investment and arresting capital flight, the Nigeria Maritime University will play a key role in the re-integration phase of the Amnesty (programme),” he argued.