The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), has said the newly established Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Delta State is on the "verge of collapse".
According to the group, the institute is now in a “sorry state” and has been "completely abandoned".
A statement by Roland Pereotubo Oweilaemi, the IYC President, noted that the pitiable condition of the institution "threatened its continued existence".
The statement read: "The Council, on our unscheduled visit to the school, was made to understand that the Federal Government only paid N2billion out of the N5billion take-off grant it earlier pledged to pay. Even the N3billion financial appropriation in the 2018 budget for the school has not been released to it. As we speak now, majority of the staff have deserted the school as the institution is unable to pay its staff for many months, while the Vice Chancellor of the institution is moving round the country sourcing for funds.
“The leadership of the IYC National, having visited the school, has gotten first-hand information about its functionality. It is regrettable that the present government has reneged on its promises to pay due attention to the school. What we found out on our visit is an eyesore. The generating plant that has been supplying power to the institution is not working as the management has no finance to buy diesel. Students and the staff are living in hell in the school building, because there is no light. Water supply to the school has stopped because there is no light to pump water.
“While the Federal Government is paying due attention to some other newly established institutions in the country, such as the Nigerian Army University, the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko which is the only economic benefit to the economically dejected, marginalised and pauperised Niger Delta people has been completely abandoned by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
"After all the promises to the Niger Delta people, which have hitherto reduced the growing tension occasioned by the resurgence of the bleak oil crisis in the region, the Federal Government is paying lip service to the demands of the people.
“The Nigerian government should not think it can always buy peace with lip service by giving non-implementable promises to the people. Starving the institution of funds upon the corresponding peace the country is enjoying in the oil sector means that the present government is still neck-deep in perpetuating its illicit agenda to scrap the school. The Federal Government is playing with fire. Though we do not pray for crisis in the region, if however the government's lukewarmly provocative and incisive stance instigates any breakdown of law and order in the region, then the present government should be held responsible.
“President Buhari should, as a matter of urgency, release funds for the school. We will vehemently resist any move to scrap the Institution through starving it of funds. People of goodwill should prevail on the government to do the needful before things get out of control. We cannot guarantee that the existing peace in the region will be sustained if the Federal Government keeps on maintaining its cynical stand on the school. A stitch in time they say saves nine.”