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Senate Snubs Amaechi, Moves To Approve Establishment Of Maritime University

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The bill for establishment of Nigerian Maritime University at Okerenkoko in Delta State, on Wednesday scaled second reading at the Senate.

This development comes months after the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, announced the scrapping of the project.

Recall that Amaechi and the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu disagreed on the establishment of the University.

He argued that Former President Goodluck Jonathan had paid too much to acquire a site for the university.

Amaechi, speaking before the senate committee on maritime on January 19, had announced the scrapping of the project, citing insecurity in the area, and lack of funds as reasons for the action.

“Okerenkoko (Maritime University), I am not against. My argument about Okerenkoko is that land alone is 13 billion (naira). If you give me 13 billion, I will buy the half of Lagos. That 13 billion has built the university already,” he said.

“What to do: let EFCC retrieve the money and release the money and we build the university. If they bring the N13 billion, I will build the university for them. That’s for land alone. I believe the Federal Government does not have money.

When we have money, we can continue. The minister of petroleum has said he would look for the money. Minister, give me the money and we continue,” Amaechi added.

However, the bill which was sponsored by James Manager (PDP-Delta), was unanimously supported by the senators after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki placed the motion on a voice vote.

Manager argued that maritime sector had huge potentials and that Nigeria should have a university for the purpose of producing capable manpower for the sector which, as he said, is currently dominated by foreign interests.

Saraki ruled the bill be referred to the committee on tertiary education and Tetfund. The committee was asked to report back in four weeks.