By Timi Black, WARRI
A Civil Rights Group under the aegis of, ‘Save Niger Delta Group (SNDG)’ has said it will embarked on a massive protest at the headquarters of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA at Lagos.
Congress reports that the planned protest was due to the federal government failure to relocate the multi-million dollar floating dock to the Niger Delta region.
This was contained in a press statement released to newsmen by its acting spokesperson, James Ebimene in Warri on Monday.
It was learnt that the multi-million dollar dock yard which was acquired with Niger Delta oil money was left fallow by NIMASA in Lagos after three years of acquisition with an estimated $30,000 daily maintenance cost.
The statement which titled: ‘Mother Of All Protests’ To Rock NIMASA Head Office Over FG’s refusal to relocate Floating Dockyard to Delta’, stated that the Modular Floating Dockyard which was proposed to be sited in Okerenkoko, Delta State has been politically manipulated.
The angry group added: “The floating dock acquired at a whopping sum of N50 billion has remained idle since it arrived the country on June 11, 2018.
According to the SNDG: “The intention of NIMASA, as at the time the floating dock was acquired, was to deploy it to Okerenkoko in Delta State but they changed the plan and put it on security challenges in the region, the agency decided to situate it in Lagos.
“The dry dock, was planned in the Niger Delta, to open up the region and make it more viable, including the employment that it will generate and training on shipbuilding processes and the benefits of the dock to the region would be immeasurable considering the Nigerian Maritime University in Delta.
The group reiterated: “Without further delay, Federal Government should relocate the mega dry dock specifically designed for the region from Lagos waters, where it had been lying unused, to the Niger Delta.
“We have mobilized all our members across the Niger Delta states to storm NIMASA headquarters in Lagos for a peaceful protest by the end of this month. Enough is enough, they added.
“Okerenkoko floating dock project was duly considered and approved by the Federal Executive Council at its 37th meeting on October 23, 2013, and the approval was conveyed to the Federal Ministry of Transport on October 29, 2013.
“The location of the dry dock in Lagos waters is contrary to the initial approval by the Federal Government for its location in Delta.
“So therefore, we have mobilized youths and women to relocate to Lagos by the end of this month (September 30) to demand that the dry dock should be moved permanently, installed and commissioned in Delta, considering the contributions of the region to the nation’s economy,” they said.