The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have given assurance concerning resuscitating the construction of a Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Badagry, Lagos state.
Speaking recently, the Director- General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, said if a genuine land becomes available in Lagos, devoid of any encumbrances, the process would be kick-started again.
He said that the agency would be ready to go back to the National Assembly for budget approvals, as well as secure approvals from relevant government agencies once land was available.
“If land is available in Lagos, and we see a good place where there are no encumbrances, we can re-energize the process to go back to the National Assembly, get budgetary approvals, get understanding with the Ministry, National Universities Commission (NUC) and all the necessary agencies of government and of course, the presidential approval,” he said.
The Maritime Academy in Badagry, Lagos, was actually started and abandoned after over N500 million was allegedly spent because the owners of the land, ASCON (Administrative Staff College of Nigeria) deprived them of the use of the property shortly after construction work began.
“We had a provision to commence activities, we started a process, along the line, ASCON that owns the land said we should quit,” he said, adding that “We had put everything in place to start, they came and said no at the end of the day, and government said we should give up the land for ASCON. What else can we do? There was nothing we could do,” he added.
It was reported that the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, had in 2012, undertaken an inspection tour of the Badagry site, as well as other moribund training facilities in Lagos, to assess their viability.
The Minister, who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Services, Leke Oyewole, among other dignitaries, went to see what could be done to revitalise the institutions, which are needed to address the shortage of manpower in the maritime industry.
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