Group decries alleged marginalisation of South-South at NIMASA
The group under the Umbrella of Southern Professionals (SP) expressed dismay at the recent redeployment in the agency, which it alleged resulted in the replacement of professionals from the South-South geo-political zone with people of northern extraction.
They alleged that the current management of the agency had abandoned the Nigerian Maritime University established by the previous administration, adding that the take-off grant already approved for the school has been stopped.
While briefing newsmen yesterday in Lagos, the group’s President, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, lamented that several laudable programmes of previous managements are being abandoned.
It added that among them is the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), which was initiated in 2008 as NIMASA’s intervention programme aimed at growing long-term local capacity for the maritime sector.
According to Adeyemi, “The NSDP is currently training over 2,500 young Nigerians carefully selected from over 20 states spread across the six geo-political zones of the country on scholarship.
“The students are studying various maritime professional courses at degree levels in Marine Engineering, Nautical Science and Naval Architecture in reputable institutions across the world, and they have also been worthy ambassadors of the country, emerging best students in all the schools.
“It is disturbing that the current management of the agency has suddenly seen reasons to stop funding the programme abruptly; despite being a project that has seen over four different managements of NIMASA, with all of them attesting to its credibility. The students are now stranded and may soon take the twist of diplomatic embarrassment to the country if not checked. Thus denting the image of Nigeria, and embarrass both students and parents. The lives of these young Nigerians are now being put in jeopardy,” he said.