The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the Federal Government has cancelled the university project proposed by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Amaechi gave the hint in Abuja yesterday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, headed by Senator Ahmed Sani, to brief the senate panel on the activities of the agencies under his supervision.
He said, “We are not going ahead with the university project proposed by NIMASA because we have an institution in Oron. We have Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology, Zaria, and we have the Nigerian College of Aviation in Zaria which we could upgrade to a University status and NIMASA is proposing to build a new one.
“Who will attend the University? How many parents will allow their children to go to such place where it proposes to site the University? What is the aim of the University that we cannot achieve in Oron where they have all the necessary infrastructure.
” I don’t think we are proceeding with the university being proposed by NIMASA because it is a waste of resources, and unfortunately a lot of money had already been released for the university project hence there is no structure on ground but just the feasibility study.
“Whoever that is holding on to the money should better return it. The Chinese company contracted, confirmed that only the feasibility study was in place.”
He also lambasted the former administration of the agency for using it as a conduit pipe.
“Currently, the way NIMASA is, if you look at it very well, it was worse in the last administration. It was as if it was established just for the purpose of collecting money and nothing more. What we need to do is to ensure that NIMASA discharges its core responsibilities.
“If NIMASA failed to perform its core responsibility then it has no business existing. If it is just to collect money from individuals, anybody can do that. We can hire a tax collector to collect money from maritime operators on behalf of Federal Ministry of transport.
“So it is either NIMASA sit up and carry out its own responsibility or we come to the National Assembly to repeal the Act setting it up and allow the Department of marine security in the ministry of transportation discharge the responsibility currently being discharged by NIMASA,” he said.
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