Lagos — A group, Maritime Advocacy Initiative, MAIN, has decried the recent request made by the duo of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS) for the relocation of the multi-million dollar floating dock owned by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to Niger Delta.
In a statement signed by the Executive Director, Mr Sesan Onileimo, MAIN said the insinuations by the two Niger Delta non-government organisations that the modular dry dock was specifically designed for the region, and that it had been lying unused in the Lagos waters were erroneous.
According to him, while the groups were entitled to their opinions it is misleading and self-serving to solely ascribe the ownership of a national asset and institution to a region or a tribe.
He stated that the Maritime University in Okerenghigho and the NIMASA floating dry dock are national assets and not a Niger Delta asset.
The statement added: “As a maritime industry non-government organisation, whose main interest is the Nigerian maritime industry, the Maritime Industry Advocacy Initiative (MAIN) wishes to remind the two Niger Delta interest groups that, the Nigeria maritime industry is not rooted or domiciled exclusively in the Delta region. It is self-delusionary to think and propagate such.
“The argument of Pan-Niger Delta Forum and the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy rekindles the fear that was expressed by those who were opposed to the establishment of the Maritime University in Okerenkoko. They had expressed fear that the university may be indigenized as a Niger Delta asset. It does appear that they were quite right.
“It is a known fact that, it is the same ethnocentric mindset that almost killed a national institution called Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), which is located in Oron, Akwa Ibom state.”