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S’South Reps want release of funds for petroleum varsity

By Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt   |   22 September 2009   |   2:49 pm  

And piqued by the deplorable condition of the East-West road, the caucus has urged the Minister of Works, his counterpart in the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently intervene and ameliorate the anguish of Nigerians who pass through the road daily.

After a visit to the University of Petroleum, the chairman of the caucus, Mr. Andrew Uchendu, yesterday in Port Harcourt, lauded the Federal Government for locating the institution in the Niger Delta, but he expressed regret that no appropriation was made for the take off of the university in the 2009 budget.

Uchendu said caucus investigation revealed that the PTDF and Education Trust Fund (ETF) were supposed to contribute N500,000 each for the initial take-off of the campus. According to him, while the ETF has fulfilled its obligation, the PTDF has failed to do the same.

He explained that the PTDF had been quite supportive of the Petroleum Training Institute in Warri in terms of upgrading of facilities in the campus.

Uchendu revealed that though there was a plan to relocate PTI, which trains low and middle manpower for the oil and gas sector, he decried the failure of the Federal Government not to appropriate money for the University of Petroleum, Warri, whereas it had allocated N14.6 billion for the College of Petroleum in Kaduna.

The lawmaker said while the caucus was not opposed to the location of high manpower training college in Kaduna, with its master-plan ready, it was demanding that the government should provide funds for the take-off the University of Petroleum in Warri.

Uchendu, who expressed dismay over federal roads in the Niger Delta, particularly, the East-West road, revealed that members of the caucus had taken advantage of the recess to traverse the region.

He lamented that there was no justifiable reason why motorists and commuters in the East-West should be subjected to the anguish they pass through daily.

He observed that though the region had been experiencing rains, FERMA, the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Niger Delta should immediately intervene to ameliorate the pains of those who travel through that route.

The lawmaker urged the Ministers of Works and Niger Delta Affairs to visit the East-West in order to appreciate the trauma of those who pass through the road.



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