Ijaw Youth Council, (IYC), has drawn public attention to what it described as the sorry state of the Nigerian Maritime University(NMU), Okerenkoko in Delta State.
In a statement signed by: IYC president Roland Pereotubo Oweilaemi and made available to Gbaramatu Voice newspaper, the youth organization lamented that the Federal Government has abandoned the institution completely.
“The pitiable condition of the institution has threatened its continued existence. The Council on our unscheduled visit to the School was made to understand that the FG only paid N2b out of the N5b take off grant it has earlier pledged to pay.
“Even the N3b financial appropriation in the 2018 budget for the School has not been released to it. As we speak now, majority of the staff have deserted the school as the Institution is unable to pay its staff for many months, while the Vice Chancellor of the Institution is moving round the country sourcing for funds.
“Leadership of the IYC, National having visited the school has gotten first hand information about its functionality. It is regrettable that the present government has reneged on its promises to pay due attention to the school. What we find out on our visit is an eyesore. The generating plant that has been supplying power to the institution is not working as the management has no finance to buy diesel. Students and the staff are living in hell in the School building because there is no light. Water supply to the School has stopped because there is no light to pump water,” IYC lamented.
Going further, IYC stressed: “While FG is paying due attention to some other newly established institutions in the country such as the Nigerian Army University, the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko which is the only economic benefit to the economically dejected, marginalised and pauperised Niger Delta people has been completely abandoned by the government of President Mohammadu Buhari.
“After all the promises to the Niger Delta people which have hitherto reduced the growing tension occasioned by the resurgence of the bleak oil crisis in the region, the FG is paying lip service to the demands of the people.
“The Nigerian government should not think it can always buy peace with lip service by giving non-implementable promises to the people. Starving the institution of funds upon the corresponding peace the country is enjoying in the oil sector means that the present Government is still neck deep in perpetuating its illicit agenda to scrap the school.
“FG is playing with fire. Though we do not pray for crisis in the region, if however the government’s lukewarmly provocative and incisive stance instigates any breakdown of law and order in the region then the present government should be held responsible.”
The organisation called on President Buhari to “as a matter of urgency release funds for the School. We will vehemently resist any move to scrap the Institution through starving it of funds.
“People of goodwill should prevail on the government to do the needful before things get out of control. We cannot guarantee that the existing peace in the region will be sustained if the FG keep on maintaining its cynical stand on the school. A stitch in time they say saves nine.”