VC commends Buhari administration for making Maritime University a success story

*Says progress of University shows FG’s commitment towards developing Niger Delta & maritime sector

VC, Nigeria Maritime University, Prof. Etebu

Vice Chancellor of the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, Prof. (Mrs.) Maureen Ongoebi Etebu, has praised the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari for the continued development of the university and making it a success story.

Etebu said this has helped in sustaining peace in the Niger Delta region, while adding that the University has become a beacon of hope to Niger Delta youths.

She further stated that the Buhari administration’s efforts towards the development of the University also shows its commitment to improving the maritime sector, which is fundamental to the growth and development of the nation’s economy

The VC stated this on Monday while showcasing the institution’s impressive teaching facilities and infrastructure at its take-off campus to the Niger Delta New Vision team from the Office of the Vice President.

She said, “We are grateful to the Federal Government for its support, without which, the maritime University would not have taken off. They have been magnanimous to us,” while adding that the university’s development was in sync with the Federal Government’s New Vision for the Niger Delta.

“Indeed, we have been able to start only because the Federal Government energized the process and released funds to the Maritime University. Recall that the His Excellency (Vice President) even visited here (Niger Delta) and we are grateful. You can see the progress here already. And since the university started, it has contributed to the peace in the Niger Delta region,” she noted.

The VC, who was in the company of University staff members, added that the ongoing efforts in the university is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were fully working for the development of the region.

ICT facilities at Maritime University

It would be recalled that the University was granted approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.

The Maritime University, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, commenced full academic activities in April 2018, when its first batch resumed lectures for the 2017/2018 session.

It has 13 departments in three faculties namely: Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management.

The Faculty of Transport has four departments, namely: Nautical Science, Transport Logistics Management, Marine Economics and Finance, and Port Management. The Faculty of Engineering has five departments – Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum and Gas Engineering, and the Faculty of Environmental Management has four departments: Environmental Management and Pollution, Meteorology and Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Marine Geology.

According to the VC, over 300 undergraduates wrote the first and second semester exams in 2018.

So far, the University has, at January 27, pre-screened 476 new students who have commenced academic activities for the 2018/2019 session. Of this number, the faculty of Engineering had the highest number of pre-screened students comprising 280 students.

Maritime University students during a parade in the institution on Monday

The VC also lauded the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its financial contributions towards the University’s development, a pointer to the synergy that underpins good relations among ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) under the Buhari administration.

She said, “NIMASA have been a big brother to us. Whenever we go to them they are willing to accommodate us. The DG of NIMASA has indeed been very supportive.”

The Special Assistant to the Vice President on Communication Projects/Niger Delta, Mr. Arukaino Umukoro, expressed his delight at the institution’s facilities, which he attributed to the Buhari administration’s commitment to the development of the Niger Delta region and the nation’s maritime sector.

In November 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved an increase in the take-off grant allocated to the University from the N2bn earlier announced to N5bn. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November 2017. Similarly, an additional N1B was approved by the President to support crucial infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University. The Delta State government also donated two 500KVA generators to the University.

These efforts have aided the take-off of the institution, which arguably boasts world-class teaching facilities which include: state of the art lecture rooms kitted with projectors and air conditioners, school laboratories, Olympic size swimming pool, library, event hall, cafeteria, hostels, a health centre that also serves neighbouring communities, amongst others.

A lecture theatre at Maritime University

Noting that all lecturers in the university went through strict recruitment process before they were employed, the VC said, “All our academic staff have a minimum of second-class upper in their first degree. And they were all employed on merit without any powerful political connection,” she said, assuring that the university, which is a paramilitary institution, was poised to maintain its high standard.

Etebu said the University has great potential to positively impact development in the region and in the country.

“The maritime industry is global, and there are so many resources that have not been tapped until now. You have heard our university anthem, “sailing through the marine ways of the world”, so it’s limitless. Being a premier Maritime University, we want to keep the flag flying, and I know we would be number one for a long time.

Also, in October, last year, the NMU signed an academic partnership with the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, in the presence of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. Under this MOU, the CMU offered scholarships to two students of the Maritime University.

“One of the many advantages of this institution is that we do not go on strike, being a paramilitary institution. A four-year course will always remain a four-year course,” the VC added.

Similarly, the Dean, Faculty of Marine Transport & Logistics Management, Prof. Godwin Ovuworie, said, “Maritime University is a unique institution that would cater for the needs of Nigeria’s maritime industry for years to come. We thank the Vice President and the President for this project because Nigeria needs it.”

Staff of the University also commended the Federal Government for its continued efforts in developing the university.

President Buhari cares about Niger Delta, says New Ag. NDDC boss

The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Professor Nelson Brambaifa, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for demonstrating an enduring love for the people of the Niger Delta region.

The new Chief Executive Officer of the interventionist agency, who spoke during the inaugural meeting of the new management, the directors and staff of the NDDC at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, noted that the Federal Government had “indeed begun refunding over N1.3 Trillion owed the Commission since inception.”

Prof. Brambaifa, whose appointment was announced on Friday, January 25, 2019, alongside that of the Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr Chris Amadi and the Acting Executive Director Projects, Engr. Dr Samuel Adjogbe, FNSE, said the appointment of the new management team was a response to the growing unhappiness in the Niger Delta region over government’s commitment to developing the region and improving the living conditions of the people.

According to a statement by the agency, the Acting Managing Director said that the Niger Delta region had suffered enough and President Buhari recognised this fact and that prompt action to redress the situation and reassure the people of the region of government’s commitment to their welfare through infrastructural development and capacity building for the youths of the region. 

Prof. Brambaifa reiterated that President Buhari, had for the first time since the establishment of the NDDC, ensured that the Federal Government started to meet its statutory financial obligations to the Commission in full.

He said that President Buhari also ensured that all other statutory contributors to the funding of NDDC met their obligations, noting that the President also worked to restore peace and security in the region by tackling all grievances of the people.

The new NDDC boss said that the appointment of the management team was another step in the effort to offer hope to the Niger Delta people and restore their confidence and faith in rebuilding the Niger Delta region.

The Ag. MD pledged to do everything necessary to respect and implement the mandate of the Commission, “which is to facilitate the sustainable development of the Niger Delta, into a region that is socially stable, economically prosperous, politically peaceful and ecologically regenerative.”

He stated that it was necessary to start work immediately, stating: “The task of developing the Niger Delta is too important to be toyed with, and too compelling to waste time on.”

He urged all stakeholders in the Niger Delta to “join hands with members of the new executive management to ensure a smooth transition, as well as contribute to the immediate delivery on Mr President’s mandate.”

He enjoined the staff of the NDDC to embrace teamwork, hard work and professionalism in the discharge of their work and promised to “change NDDC and take it to the next level.”I

‘FG remains committed to Ogoni clean-up, Niger Delta’s development’

The Federal Government has pledged commitment to thorough clean up of Ogoniland, and development of the Niger Delta region.

This was stated by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, in the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Edobor Iyamu, during a one-day High Level Advocacy Workshop on the Clean-up of the Niger Delta, organised by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development, (Centre LSD), which held on Friday in Abuja.

Noting that the Clean-up is in phases, Iyamu said, “if you read the report on the Ogoni clean up, it would take 30 years to complete.”

According to the Guardian, Iyamu emphasized a lot of work has been done in line with the 2011 UNEP report, since the Buhari administration kickstarted the Ogoni clean-up in 2016.

He said several companies have been awarded contracts to carry out the clean-up, adding that there would be subsequent award of contracts to interested companies.

Recall that in January, the Hon. Minister of Environment, Suleiman Hassan, kicked off the handing over of sites to contractors undertaking the remediation and clean-up of impacted sites in Ogoniland, Rivers State.

Speaking further, Iyamu said there have been a lot of social engagements and programmes in Ogoni communities by HYPREP, while some studies have been carried out to find out the extent of contamination.

He said, “This exercise has not been done anywhere. It is an ongoing process and I am sure it can only get better. With subsequent awards, I am sure we are going to get more qualified people. One of the things we tried to do from the office of the vice president is to constantly put stakeholders under pressure.

“No one is going to take the region for granted. The New Vision for the Niger Delta is designed to bring development to the region, and we have recorded several milestones.

“Today, we have the Maritime University, which is fully operational and we also have the four modular refineries, which are located in Imo, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Rivers states, with about 60-90 per cent completion.”

Also speaking at the event, the Acting Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development, (Centre LSD) Mr. Monday Osasah has lauded the FEDERAL Government on the commencement of the official handover of polluted sites to remediation firms on the Ogoniland Clean-Up.

He said, “Cleaning the Niger Delta is social justice, and having achieved relative calm so far, we believe that further tampering with citizens expectation by the lull in the process might be problematic. We are therefore pleased that Hydro Carbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), the body responsible for the clean up has commenced the official handover of polluted sites to remediation firms. We hope that the initial delay will be compensated by speed of the firms.”

FG, firm sign $100m concession agreement for Warri Port Terminal

Spurred by the desire to boost efficiency in port management, the Federal Government and Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited, on Tuesday, signed a concession agreement for Terminal B of Warri Old Port.

This is sequel to the National Council on Privatisation’s approval of the technical and commercial bid of $100.78m submitted by Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited on June 18, 2018.

Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, noted that the objective of the Federal Government in port concessioning, was to achieve efficiency in the country’s port management, with the ultimate aim of improved service delivery.

The BPE boss who signed the document on the government’s behalf also observed that the process was geared towards the modernisation of port facilities, while achieving reduction in the cost of shipping and clearing goods, an arrangement that would relieve the government of the encumbrances of financing the sector.

Okoh said, “In fact, the concession of the seaports in Nigeria represents one of the success stories of the privatisation and commercialisation programme in Nigeria.

“The concessionaire is expected to focus on these objectives as they perform their business. The government expects nothing less than strict adherence to the terms of the concession agreement from the concessionaire.”

“Consequently, the pursuit of your business objectives must be tailored in a way that will also assist in the realisation of these objectives,” he told the concessionaire.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, chairman, Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services, however, expressed his happiness as he signed on behalf of his company, the PUNCH reports.

Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), who was present during the ceremony also expressed delight at the conclusion of the concession of the terminal, noting that the concession of the port ‘is an important milestone in the economic development of the country.’

This crucial development once again reiterates the federal government’s unwavering commitment to the development of the Niger-delta, a region, which president Buhari’s administration has accorded great importance and initiated many critical projects.

Amnesty programme, a success story, says Ooni


Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunnusi, has declared the Presidential Amnesty Programme under the leadership of Prof. Charles Dokubo as a success story.
He said God had used Dokubo to pilot affairs at the Amnesty programme in the right direction, the PUNCH reports.
Speaking on Friday at the inauguration of the first Amnesty programme vocational training centre at Agadagba-Obon, Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Ogunnusi, said the facility would enhance the development of youths in the Niger Delta and the nation at large.
The Ooni said, “When you see something that is good, especially to develop the youth of this nation, most especially the people of Niger Delta, I am very proud to be associated with such initiative.
“It is created for them to learn more about what is good and coming from their environment. I am here to be part of a successful story. I thank God Almighty for using the leadership of Prof. Dokubo to put these things right.”
In his remarks, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, (SAN), noted that the Amnesty programme had not only impacted on the lives of individuals, but also transformed the entire Niger Delta region, especially in human capacity building and empowerment, thereby deepening the peace in the area.
Akeredolu, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Agboola Ajayi, described the completion of the Oil and Gas Basic Skills Vocational Training Centre as a wonderful feat achieved.

Niger Delta: Nigeria Navy destroys 134 illegal refineries

The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta said it has demolished 134 unlawful refining destinations in Delta state in the last one and a half weeks.

The Commander of the NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, who revealed this amid one of the tasks in Jibo people group, Warri South-West gathering region of the state on Saturday, likewise cautioned oil hoodlums and administrators of illicit refineries to cease and discover real methods for occupations or face the fury of the law.

According to the Nation, Dewu, who was spoken to by the Executive Officer (XO) of the NNS Delta, Navy Captain Adeyemi Adewuyi, denounced the decision of a few people in the Niger Delta to live on wrongdoing and keep on squandering assets on endeavours that will persistently be followed and pulled somewhere around government, bringing up the measure of monetary assets focused on the unlawful exercises and their undulating impact on the country’s economy.

As indicated by him, the illicit refining locales in Jibo people group alone secured a stretch of multiple kilometres of marsh region, including that the administrators had set up in excess of 82 units of unlawful refineries on the monstrous space of land.

In his statement, he informed that they are in Jibo community in Warri South-West council area of Delta state to carry out the destruction of illegal refineries with the use of swamp buggies. Currently we are employing two swamp buggies simultaneously to destroy the illegal refinery sites in this community.

Ogoni Clean-up: HYPREP commence remediation process of impacted sites

Friday, January 11, 2019 marked a landmark for Niger Delta and in the Ogoni clean-up exercise by HYPREP under the Federal Ministry of Environment.

On that day, The Hon. Minister of Environment, Suleiman Hassan, kicked off the handing over of sites to contractors undertaking the remediation and clean-up of impacted sites in Ogoniland, Rivers State.

The oncoming Ogoni Clean-up is proof of the Buhari administration’s commitment towards developing the Niger Delta region.

Recall that in June 2016, the Buhari administration started the implementation of the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland. This is part of the Federal Government’s Niger Delta NewVision to develop Niger Delta region.