Niger Delta development: Minister charges NDDC to do more

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, has charged the new management of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to do more for the development of the Niger Delta region.

The Minister was speaking at the NDDC headquarters in Port-Harcourt, when he paid a working visit recently to the new management team of the Commission. He was accompanied by his Minister of State, Prof. Claudius Daramola, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu-Bisalla and other directors of the supervising ministry.

The aim of the NDDC is to establish in the Niger Delta region a strong and progressive society in which no one will have any anxiety about basic means of life and work; where poverty and illiteracy no longer exist and diseases are brought under control; and where their educational facilities provide all the children of the Niger Delta Region with best possible opportunities for the development of their potentials.

NDDC sees to the implementation of their mandate by executing relevant projects in the entire region.
Projects are conceptualized, designed and executed based on extensive consultation with locals, input from interested parties and critical analysis by experts. These projects are awarded based on their ability to give maximum impact to the local region and beyond the constraints of allotted budget. NDDC is therefore seen as a good harvest of concrete achievements as evidenced in the array of projects and programs they have embarked upon.

The NDDC has taken giant strides to facilitate the all-round development of the Niger Delta and its people, the Commission said.

Usani stated that the current NDDC management, being an interim one, was expected to do more for the people of the Niger Delta than a regular board. “We expect every functionary and staff of the commission to appreciate this fact and put up the very best efforts in the performance of their duties,” he said.

The Minister noted that, “Brief as this management may be, we are charging you to put in your best. There is a lot that can be achieved, especially as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari continues for the next four years.”

He emphasised that the policy of the Buhari administration was that there would be nothing like abandoned projects. “That is why you can see many of the projects started 20-30 years ago, especially infrastructure are still being reviewed and executed,” he said.

He also urged the NDDC management and staff to recognise the important and special place they occupy in the development of Niger Delta and in the bigger economic picture of Nigeria.

The Minister said: “It may be too early to assess the performance of the new management team. But it is essential for us to know that the task for the management is a greater burden than it would have been if it has longer time to stay.”

He said that his ministry would continue to supervise the Commission to ensure that it performs maximally “because the performance of NDDC goes a long way to determine the forms of agitation we get from the different segments of members of Niger Delta society. I will be pleased to have a peaceful environment for the period you will be in charge of affairs in the Commission.”

Earlier in his remarks the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, said that in the absence of the Commission’s board of directors, the minister takes over as the supervising authority, stating: “It is only fair and wise that he comes once in a while to see how we are faring and to see whether we are following laid down procedures.”

According to him, the new management of the commission was working tirelessly to deliver on its mandate within the shortest possible time.

Prof. Brambaifa said that henceforth, payment to contractors would be made promptly without unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks, noting that the Commission had fine-tuned its processes and was now using a more efficient procedure in paying for projects and meeting its financial obligations.

Also speaking, the NDDC Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr. Chris Amadi, said the Commission was very much aware of the need to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region and was appropriately taking directives from its supervising ministry.

He said, “We took up payments of contractors who have been owed for years. We made sure that those which fell under 10 million got their payments even in their homes. We are now compiling payments for 20-30million. We have also paid for the water hyacinths and some of the palliatives and interventions which the Commission set out to address the challenges of youth restiveness to ensure peace in the region.”

He said further: “We have paid major contractors to motivate them to go back to site and complete their projects. We have commitments from several of them that projects are on-going and will soon be completed.”

Amadi stated that NDDC had commenced projects inspection, starting with the new headquarters of the commission and would be embarking on major projects’ inspections across the region.

Niger Delta: “NDDC to fast-track completion of ongoing projects”

*Inspects work on new headquarters

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has renewed its drive to fast-track the completion of its projects spread across the nine Niger Delta states, especially major projects that will transform the region significantly.

The mandates of the commission (NDDC) include the development of the oil- rich Niger Delta, the formulation of policies and guide lines for the development of the Niger Delta area, and implementation of all measures approved for the development of the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government and the States of the commission.

The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, set the tone for the Commission’s plans to drive development efforts while inspecting the new 12-floor permanent headquarters complex of the Commission at the Eastern Bye-Pass in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, who inspected work on the new headquarters alongside the Acting Executive Director Projects, Engr. Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, described the project as “fantastic.”

He said: “You know that our first objective is to provide a conducive working environment for people working in NDDC. From what I have seen, my predecessors have done very well but we will improve on what they have done and with all things being equal, by the fourth quarter of this year, we might be able to call all the nine governors to come here and commission this edifice.”

Prof. Brambaifa charged NDDC contractors handling other on-going projects to take a cue from the work going on at the new headquarters, urging that they should take their jobs seriously.

The NDDC boss said that the Commission was anxious to complete the headquarters project to add value to the work of the NDDC towards meeting its mandate, adding that this was in line with the resolve of the new management of the Commission to promptly complete all ongoing projects.

Also speaking, the NDDC Acting Executive Director Projects, Engr. Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, commended the contractors for doing a good job, noting that the quality of work was high and the completion target of the last quarter of this year was achievable.

NDDC, EU to strengthen partnership on Sustainable Water Projects

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, says it will strengthen its collaboration with the European Union, EU, through the Niger Delta Support Programme, NDSP, to resuscitate abandoned water infrastructure across the nine Niger Delta states.

According to a statement by the Commission, the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, stated this when a delegation from the EU-funded NDSP3 pilot project paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He stressed the importance of institutionalising community-based management structure for the maintenance and sustainability of basic infrastructure in the Niger Delta region. He also harped on the need to develop a framework to ensure community ownership of water projects in the region.

Prof. Brambaifa commended the EU delegation for collaborating with the NDDC to ensure sustainability of water projects in the Niger Delta region, especially with the realisation that water was one of the basic needs of life.

He said, “We are looking forward to strengthening the collaboration with the EU, because water is life. We definitely need sustainable water projects because it is part of our mandate to bring potable water to the inhabitants of the Niger Delta region. It is one thing to organise a project like this, but it is another to ensure its sustainability. You don’t just start a water project and two months later you come to see that it had been vandalised.

“We are committed to this partnership with the EU to work out modalities to ensure that any water project we commission should be able to stand the test of time. We must find ways to safeguard our projects because it is one of our core mandates to bring sustainable development to the people of the Niger Delta.”

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer pledged to take the Niger Delta to the next level in line with the mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

He called on the EU delegation to convince the international body to increase its financial commitment to the water project so as to help the region with safe drinking water that would address the challenges of water-borne diseases in the region.

The team leader of the NDSP, Albert Achten, told the NDDC boss that there was need to expedite action on the pilot project because its life span would terminate in May this year.

He, therefore, enjoined the partners to push for an effective and timely implementation of the EU and NDDC-NDSP3 pilot project.

Achten remarked that in the last two years a synergy had been developed between the EU-funded NDSP and the NDDC, stating that the key part of the synergy was the pilot project for reviving 45 abandoned water schemes in the nine Niger Delta states.

He recalled that the collaboration took off officially in November last year at a two-day Strategic Retreat for the Board and Management of the NDDC in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Further to that, he said that on February 2, 2019, the NDDC demonstrated its commitment to the project by writing to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning on the programme.

According to him, the project is up and running, as two very important tasks had been completed. He, however, stressed that time was running out since the contract between the EU and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning would end in the next few months.

He said: “We solicit the continued support of the NDDC for the project, especially as it concerns the release of funds. The NDSP part of the project is financed by the EU, but the logistics for some of the activities are expected to be taken care of by the NDDC.”

Collaboration will fast-track development in Ondo coastal areas, says NDDC

Community leaders and stakeholders across coastal communities of Ondo State have been urged to appeal to youths in the area to give room to development by embracing peace.

This was stated by the commissioner on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC), Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who made the call in Igbokoda headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area of the state. He noted that community thrives in a peaceful atmosphere, according to the Tribune.

Speaking at the NDDC stakeholders meeting recently on peace building and community engagement in the Niger Delta region of the state, Aiyedatiwa said the goal of the commission in the area could not be realized unless the youths and other stakeholders cooperate with the commission.

The commissioner stressed the need for the collaboration or engagement among the NDDC, stakeholders and communities, in order to implement and deliver projects and programmes in coastal communities.

He noted that the NDDC was ready to empower the people of Ilaje and Ese- Odo local government area, however spoke on the need for a friendly environment and peaceful coexistence.

He, however, pointed that “despite the presence of NDDC in the region, as indicated by these various projects and programmes, community agitation, restiveness, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism has not ceased, but they are rather on the rise.

“The reason for this is not far- fetched. The people are asking for more and NDDC is very slow in delivering on projects and programmes”, He said.

Aiyedatiwa further said that despite challenges confronting the commission in the area, “NDDC has provided employment for indigenes of Ilaje and Ese Odo and Ese Odo, and other parts of the state.

Road construction, rehabilitation, jetties, walkways, waterways, electricity, health programmes and scholarship are various projects and programmes by NDDC in Ondo State. These are indications of the execution of its mandate in the region, “he said.

NDDC to begin construction of road in Abia

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has commenced the construction of the dilapidated Ubahu- Ihube- Okigwe expressway in Umunneochi local council of Abia State.

The 15-kilometre road being undertaken by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with a bridge will cost about N372 million and has nine months delivery time, the Guardian reports.

However, the Chairman/Managing Director of Free Flow Construction Company Ltd, Mr. Chidiebere Udeh, the contractor handling the project firm, promised to deliver in three months if the NDDC would fulfill its contractual obligations.

He said, “I am a son of this LGA and am poised to work round the clock including Sundays to deliver the work hence I urge the Commission to do the needful in accordance with the terms of the contract. You can see our healthy equipment and personnel are on ground and the communities are giving us all the cooperation and assistance”.

The flag-off of the construction of the dilapidated Ubahu- Ihube- Okigwe expressway was by large crowd of people from Ubahu Nneato rural community and adjoining ones in Umunneochi local council.

The traditional ruler of Onuogu Ogwe, further said, “we are elated to see the turning of our dilapidated rural road linking us directly to Enugu-Okigwe – Port Harcourt expressway into a tarred one in our life time”.

Ogoni Clean-Up: HYPREP, Rivers State Ministry partner to provide potable water for Ogoniland

The Rivers State Government has given approval to a request by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP to re-activate state water facilities in Ogoniland as part of effort to provide potable water for Ogoni communities.

In a statement from HYPREP, the Rivers State Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku gave the approval to HYPREP when the Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil led a team of Management Staff to his office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Dekil informed the Commissioner and his team that HYPREP was set up with the mandate to remediate Ogoniland and provide sustainable livelihood for the people in line with UNEP Report, adding that in fulfilling this mandate HYPREP has a responsibility to provide potable water in the impacted communities as specified in the report.

The Project Coordinator said the visit was also to request for collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development in the provision of water in the impacted communities.  He said the request to collaborate with the Ministry was necessary to avoid duplication of projects.

Dr. Dekil explained that in the process of providing water in the impacted communities, HYPREP would need to access the existing water facilities towards rehabilitating them and also install new ones, in both cases he said, the technical expertise of the professionals in the Ministry will be needed especially as the initial facilities were installed by them.

The Project Coordinator assured the Commissioner that HYPREP projects were not at variance with the water policy of the Ministry which is community driven adding that every project of HYPREP was tailored towards community participation and ownership to ensure sustainability.

Prof. Ebeku commended the HYPREP Coordinator, for seeking collaboration with the State Government saying it will eliminate duplication of projects which would have amounted to waste of Government resources.  He called on other government agencies and development partners to emulate the HYPREP approach to project implementation.

The Commissioner assured Dr. Dekil of his full support and that of his team to the collaboration and said he will do everything within his power to fast track the process from the Ministry’s end to ensure that potable water is available in Ogoniland for the benefit of the people.

At the end of the meeting, a Committee comprising experts from the State Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development and HYPREP was set up to work on the modalities for the collaboration towards the provision of potable water for the impacted communities in Ogoniland.

700 bid for FG’s Gas flare-out scheme – Report

A status report on the progress of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), a new programme initiated by the Federal Government to commercialise flared gas in oil fields in the Niger Delta, has indicated that so far over 700 interested parties have registered on the NGFCP portal to bid and jostle for approximately 178 gas flare sites spread across the region.

According to ThisDay, a recent statement obtained from the secretariat of the NGFCP in Abuja noted that the programme has continued to gain immense traction. It also stated that the date set for submission of statement of qualification has been shifted to accommodate more bids.

“As at today, over 700 plus interested parties have registered on the NGFCP portal to bid and jostle for the approximately 178 gas flare sites spread across Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

“After the close of the submission of the SOQs’ (Statement of Qualification), there will be an opening ceremony for the SOQs’ after which the Proposals Evaluation Committee (PEC) duly constituted by the minister of state, petroleum resources for the purpose of evaluating the SOQs presented by the applicants to determine qualified applicant status and evaluating the proposals to determine those applicants whether they have been awarded the Qualified Applicant (QA) status,” said the statement.

Stating how the submitted bid would be evaluated, the statement noted that: “A list of the selected qualified applicants will be published on the NGFCP Portal. Only QAs will be issued the Request for Proposal (RfP) package. The PEC will carry out an evaluation of the technical and commercial proposal on a strictly pass/fail basis. The financial proposals will be opened only for those bidders whose technical and commercial proposals have passed.”

It explained that the new date for submission of SOQ was still February 28, 2019, having moved it from the initial submission date of January 20, 2019. It added that the date would likely not be extended any further.

According to the statement, a recent meeting of the NGFCP steering committee was held at the instance of Kachikwu, where he stated that while ultimate ownership of the NGFCP rests with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the programme was still in its design phase and as such still resides with the ministry until the conclusion of the first auction round.

We will drive a new vision for Niger Delta – NDDC Boss

*Rivers Monarchs laud FG, NDDC on development

The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, says the new dawn at the Commission is an opportunity to do things differently for the development of the Niger Delta region.

Prof. Brambaifa spoke during a reception in honour of the NDDC Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, EDFA, Mr. Chris Amadi, at the Palace of the Chairman of Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, Eze Blessing Wagor, Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo.

In a statement from the Commission, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer was quoted as describing the Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration as a worthy, brilliant and smart son of the Niger Delta region. “You can be sure that he would perform creditably in his new assignment,” he assured.
Responding, Amadi assured that the executive management led by Prof. Bambaifa would deliver faithfully on the mandate of the NDDC, stating that it would endeavor to enlist the support and cooperation of all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.

The Acting EDFA stated that NDDC as a regional development agency had been undertaking development projects and programmes for the benefit of the people of the region. He added: “I can assure Ikwerre people that we will do our best within the time available to ensure that everyone got their due.”

Amadi said that the NDDC Acting Managing Director had asked him to raise the issue of vandalized power infrastructure in Isiokpo at the next executive management meeting. He assured that the light situation in Isiokpo and other Ikwerre communities would be treated with dispatch.

He said further: “We are requesting Ikwerre people to identify areas that require intervention from the NDDC as soon as possible, so as to assist us to ensure equitable distribution of infrastructural development across the region.

“The Acting MD is from Bayelsa State, the Ag. Executive Director Projects is from Delta State and I am from Rivers State. What that means is that we will ensure that no state in the region is marginalized or short changed.”

Amadi said that as the new management team came on board, it realized that there were school desks and chairs that were already delivered to the NDDC for distribution to primary and secondary schools across the region.

He added that the management directed the immediate distribution of the desks and chairs for schools in Rivers State. According to the EDFA, the first schools to benefit will be those in Akpor kingdom. “We will continue in that vein to cover other communities in Rivers State since the Commission had already distributed the items in other states in the region.” He said.

Speaking on behalf of the Isiokpo kingdom, Eze Wagor, said the appointment of Amadi as NDDC EDFA was the first real “patronage” of an Isiokpo son since 1999. For this position of trust extended to our son, he declared: “We shall reciprocate and continually show appreciation and support to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Eze Wagor appealed to the NDDC to step up infrastructural development in the Ikwerre Local Government Area. He particularly pleaded for the rehabilitation of the vandalized electricity supply to Isiopko from the national grid, noting that “the entire area has been without power supply for more than 18 months.”

A thanksgiving service at St. John’s Anglican Church, Adanta, Isiokpo had earlier been held in honour of Amadi.

In the same vein, traditional rulers in Ikwerre, Rivers State have lauded the efforts of the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in fast-tracking the development of the Niger Delta region.

Nye-Nwe Ali Akpor, Eze Aniele Orlu-Oriebe, who spoke at a reception organised by the Akpor Kingdom in honour of Amadi, at the former Akpor Grammer School ground in Ozuoba, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, applauded the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, while commending the efforts of the NDDC as an interventionist agency.

“The NDDC has done well, so far, in delivering on its mandate of intervening to mitigate the infrastructural and other developmental challenges of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. We encourage this current management to do more, especially for the people of Akpor kingdom,” he said.

The NDDC Acting EDFA was also received in the palace of Eze Apara Rebisi of Port Harcourt, Eze Victor Woluchem XII, who was also full of praise for the Federal Government.

Amadi noted that the NDDC was more determined to fast-track the development of all parts of the Niger Delta region, including Ikwerre communities, noting that they “have a duty and responsibility to ensure an equitable spread of projects across the Niger Delta region.”

“I am here in dual capacity as an honouree and a representative of the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa. I am giving assurances that whatever is required in the area of infrastructural development would be done.”

FG working to phase out gas flaring, says Baru

*Gas processing plant commissioned in Delta

The Federal Government is working on a gradual phasing out of the gas flare era in the oil/ gas- rich Niger Delta Region.

It has also urged gas producing companies in the region to enhance its activities in other to be of value to the government in its strides to end the epidemic of gas flaring, by taking advantage of available gas processing plants around the region.

This was stated on Thursday by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, while speaking at the commissioning of the Egbaoma Gas Processing Plant in Ebedei community, Ukwani council area of Delta State.

According to the Nation, Baru added that with the operations of the Ebedei Processing Plants, the gas flare in the Umutu gas field should be out before the end of the year, mandating all gas producing companies in the Delta area to seize the opportunity now provided by PNG Gas Limited in the area and help crusade to end gas flaring in the country.

Commending the operators of the gas processing company; PNG Gas Limited for pioneering gas development efforts locally Dr. Baru said the federal government is aggressively pursuing an extension of domestic gas supply capacity to 5 BSCFD ( billion standard cubic feet per day ).

As part of the expansion project the NNPC boss notified that the gas pipline infrastructure network system is equally being expanded, adding that the Obifu – Obrikom to oven (OB3) gas pipeline a 2 BSCFD capacity pipeline, which is a project aimed at the creating a gas grid across the country, should be ready before the end of the year’s second quarter.

After the inspection and commissioning of the gas plant, Dr.  Baru in his address to journalist said “ my visit here is to reassure the investors here that the gas that is being flared will go into the OB3 and that this flare, God willing, before the end of this year will be out. “I am also encouraging the other producers who are flaring to connect their gas into this gas plant so that they can add value by processing it, removing the liquid that they can sell at a higher value and of course, putting out the flares and monetising lean gas.

“At this juncture, may I urge the operators whose assets are at close proximity to this plant and the OB3 pipeline to seize the opportunity presented by this gas plant to collaborate with PNG Gas limited to supply gas to maximise the plant’s capacity access and commercialise all existing flares and further develop the significant had reserves of ITcf in the area. I see this initiative as the beginning of an end to the last mile of gas flaring in Nigeria” he said.

The chairman and chief executive officer Owel- Linkso Group, promoters of PNG Gas limited, Engr. Charles Osezua in his welcome address stated that his company had invested about $60million in the Egbaoma Processing Plant, with capacity to process some 30 MSCFD of wet gas. In his statement he added that about 500 Nigerians have become commercial beneficiaries of the operations of the processing plants, while more than 500 homes are being serviced with the LPG place.

 

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.