Niger Delta New Vision birthed take-off of Maritime University, development projects in region – Osinbajo

Speech by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the 1st Matriculation Ceremony of The Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, on Saturday, 6th April, 2019

(Delivered by Mr. Edobor Iyamu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Economic Matters/Niger Delta, Office of the Vice President)

Protocol

I bring very warm greetings from His Excellency Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, on whose behalf I’m standing here before you today.

Hearty congratulations to the management and staff of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko Delta State, on the commemoration of this milestone occasion, the inaugural matriculation ceremony. Congratulations also to all of the matriculating students. As the pioneer set of students of this landmark institution, you are all standing on the threshold of history, and we rejoice with you.

This is a day that we have long awaited and looked forward to, and I am delighted that it has come, and we are here to witness it. A year ago, on the 12th of April 2018, to be precise, this University commenced academic activities, with a total of 370 students spread across 13 undergraduate programmes in three Faculties, namely: Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management.

In addition, there were 85 students admitted into the University’s Basic programme. They sat for the JAMB examinations, and the 59 who were successful were given admission into the University.

This University is one of the strongest demonstrations yet of the total and unflinching commitment of the Buhari Administration to the development and the progress of the Niger Delta. The President is a man of his word, and he has made that clear over and over again with regards to the Niger Delta, in the last four years.

You will recall that he touched on the issue of the Delta in his inauguration Speech on May 29, 2015. It was a measure of his determination to rewrite the story of a neglected region. People had come before him and paid lip service to the issues. You are all witnesses to how the Ogoni Clean-up failed to leave the drawing board.

The seriousness with which we view the Niger Delta informed the series of unprecedented engagements that resulted in the comprehensive development Plan known as the New Vision for the Niger Delta; with the goal of ensuring that the huge resources of the Delta are put to work for the good of the people of the region.

That New Vision has guided us every step of the way, and is what has helped propel the Ogoni Clean Up to fruition, and helped birth this University in which we are gathered today.

Since 2016, when the Buhari Administration flagged off the Clean Up of Ogoni land, we have seen actual implementation and progress. As I speak, 21 companies have been awarded remediation contracts, and 15% of the contract sum released by way of mobilisation fee. Some of the contractors have since commenced work on the affected sites, and others are currently mobilising to site. This award of contracts followed a very open and transparent international procurement process, as well as the laying down of a robust governance and oversight framework for the Clean Up. And while the remediation is ongoing, there are also a lot of efforts aimed at ensuring that affected communities enjoy basic amenities like clean water, and that jobs and training opportunities are extended to them.

Our Modular Refinery Programme is another important cornerstone of the New Vision for the Niger Delta. There are currently four modular refineries at different levels of completion, across the region, as follows:

  • Niger Delta Exploration & Production situated Rivers State
  • Opac Modular Refinery situated here in Delta
  • Ikwe-Onna situated in Akwa-Ibom
  • Walter Smith in Imo State

One of them, the Niger Delta Exploration & Production is a brownfield project that is being expanded by 5,000bpd in the first phase. That expansion is now about 98% completed and will commence test-running from the 16th of April, 2019. The remaining three are greenfield projects and are all scheduled for commissioning this year.

The Amnesty Programme has continued to receive funding and support from the Buhari Administration, because we understand just how important it is for the young people of the region. We will continue to ensure that it delivers on its mandate and responds fully to the needs and yearnings of the beneficiaries.

Permit me to also highlight our Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, aimed at ensuring that we bring an end to the tragedy that is gas-flaring in the Niger Delta. The impact of this is going to be enormous, not just in terms of health and the environment, but also in terms of economic opportunities. The successful bidders for the gas flare sites will be expected to create economic value from the gas hitherto being flared, and this will create jobs and wealth for citizens and for communities. Adverts for the commercialisation of the flare sites have already gone out and submissions of Expression of Interest are being received.  The next stage will be the shortlisting and award of concessions to the successful bidders.

These and more are examples of how we are walking the talk in the Niger Delta region, which we view not in terms of its past, but in terms of its potential. And this is a potential that is not limited to oil and gas, but is actually focused more on the development of human capital. We are confident that the Niger Delta will sooner than later come to be defined, not by crude oil, but by the quality of its human resource, the abundance of its agriculture, its rich cultural potential, and so on.

We have a vision that the Maritime University will come to be known around the world as a Center of Excellence in Maritime matters, and a repository of expertise and knowledge on the Niger Delta.

For all the matriculating students, and the pioneer staff, you can see why you have a great burden and responsibility on your shoulders. I enjoin you to discharge these with dedication and pride, and to continue to carry yourselves as excellent ambassadors of this University.

Once again, I congratulate you on this auspicious occasion, and I wish you the very best for the future.

God bless the Maritime University, God Bless the Niger Delta, and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thank you.

 

Editor’s note: The Vice President was represented at the event by Mr. Edobor Iyamu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Economic Matters/Niger Delta, Office of the Vice President

Niger Delta: Maritime Varsity will boost job opportunities, save nation foreign exchange – VC

Nigeria would benefit immensely from the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, as it would boost job opportunities for Nigerian professionals in the Maritime industry, and it would also save the nation foreign exchange.

The Vice Chancellor of the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, Prof. (Mrs.) Maureen Ongoebi Etebu,

stated this recently during a tour of the institution’s impressive teaching facilities and infrastructure at the take-off campus while she attributed the progress of work in the university to President Muhammadu  Buhari’s commitment to the region.

Highlighting the benefits the  nation is poised to gain from having the institution, Etebu further said the institution would save the nation a great deal of foreign exchange it hitherto spent on  training Nigerians in maritime sector in other countries.

She affirmed that the standard of training in the institution was at par with international best standards, negating the need to  further send students abroad to obtain such trainings.  She stated the university had registered with the International Maritime Organisation, a body that upholds the highest standard of maritime practice and training in the world. She further affirmed that the university,  which  is working in collaboration with the Caribbean Maritime University, has brought peace to the Niger Delta region.

She said,” We can now do local training and not send our citizens out of the country,  because we have set standards that can compete with  anywhere in the world; and  through NIMASA, we are registered with the IMO (International Maritime Organisation).

‘When you train cadets here in Nigeria you give them the exposure they can get abroad. Right now  we are  collaborating with Caribbean Maritime University and  we are also making arrangement with the World Maritime University in Sweden. We will be producing high rate cadet without spending any dollars or pounds which will save  our nation a great deal of foreign exchange,’ she said.

The VC, who was in the company of staff members, also affirmed  that  graduates  of the university would soon bridge the gap of local skilled  content in the maritime industry. She noted that such development would equally save the nation foreign exchange spent on the wages of skilled expatriate  workers. ” when you go to ships you hardly find Nigerians, but in another two years this would be rectified as we should have graduated our first batch from the department of  transport and logistics management and environmental management.  And in another three years we will be producing marine engineers  that can help man this area where we lack man powers.’

Etebu also  thanked  President Buhari’s  administration for its trail-blazing role in the development of the university. She praised the Federal Government for releasing funds for the continued development of the institution, noting that it was an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were fully working for the development of the region.

She said, “The Federal Government has been magnanimous to us. We are grateful to the Federal Government for its support, without which, the maritime University would not have taken off.”

“Indeed, we have been able to start only because the Federal Government energized the process and release funds to the Maritime University. Recall that the His Excellency (Vice President) even visited here (Niger Delta) and we are grateful. You can see what we are doing with the funds that were released to us. And since the university started there has been peace in the Niger Delta region.”

In November 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari  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 essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University in November 2017. The Delta State government has also donated two 500KVA generators to the University.

These grants have  in no small measure 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, ICT centre,  event hall, cafeteria, hostels, a health centre that also serves neighbouring communities, amongst others.

It would be recalled that the Maritime University commenced full academic activities in April 2018, when its first batch resumed lectures for the 2017/2018 session.

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

As at January 27, the University has so far 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.

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 NUC approved that academic activities commence 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.

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 has offered scholarships to two students of the Maritime University.

Staff of the university also thanked the Federal Government for its  unwavering support  in making the university a success story, insisting that the institution would save  the nation a great deal of foreign exchange. Professor Francis Nwosu of the Department of Fisheries and aquaculture noted that the university’s output would in the long run  contribute to the economic growth of the nation, “Maritime university wants to develop  our human resources that will exploit the resources of the ocean and that will add to our nation’s economic growth.

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.

Niger Delta: 200 set for NDDC 2018 Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has presented award letters to 200 graduates from the Niger Delta region for its 2018 Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship Programme.

According to a statement by the NDDC, during a pre-departure briefing and orientation at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, charged the scholars to be ambassadors of the Niger Delta region as they carry the flag of Nigeria to foreign lands.

The NDDC Managing Director, who was represented by the Director Special Duties, Dr Princewill Ekanim, said that the Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship Programme was an important component of the Commission’s human capital development programme.

He said: “We recognise the need to bridge the huge manpower deficit in the Niger Delta region, especially in Engineering, Science and Technology, EST, the fields that drive the oil industry. Our aim is to build a pool of professionals that can compete at the global stage.”

Ekere noted that the programme which started in 2010 had so far benefited 1,904 students, mostly at the Masters’ Degree level.  He said that about 4,000 candidates applied for this year’s programme, out of which 200 were selected.

The NDDC boss said: “Our scholars over the years have made outstanding results. In 2016, one of the beneficiaries in the masters’ programme, graduated as the overall best student at the Coventry University in the United Kingdom. In 2017, another beneficiary graduated with a distinction and was the best graduating student in the department as well as the entire post-graduate programme in environmental studies.”

Ekere advised the scholarship beneficiaries to avoid distractions so as to also excel in their studies. “We are sending you out to go and study and come back to impact the Niger Delta region and the entire Nigerian system for good. That is the essence of the scholarship programme,” he emphasised.

In his opening remarks, the NDDC Director for Education, Health and Social Services, Mr. Goshua Okejoto, urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity given to them to acquire technical expertise for the benefit of the people of the Niger Delta region.

The EHSS director, who was represented by the deputy director, Mrs. Winifred Madume, reminded the beneficiaries that they owed the Niger Delta a duty to succeed. He added: “As you go to your various schools, conduct yourselves well as we expect excellent performance in all that you do.”

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the best Ph.D. awardee, Miss Mary Essien, thanked the NDDC for making the selection process fair and transparent. She pledged that they would do their best to be good ambassadors for the region.

The successful graduates for the 2018 post-graduate foreign scholarship programme had gone through electronic examination conducted at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, before a final selection interview.

VP Osinbajo hails collaboration as Caribbean University partners Maritime University, UNILAG

The academic partnership between Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Jamaica, and two Nigerian universities – University of Lagos and the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in Delta State – would be mutually beneficial to each country’s human capital development, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this during a meeting on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with representatives from the three universities; a delegation from the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) led by the President, CMU, Prof. Fritz Pinnock; and his Nigerian counterparts – the Vice Chancellor, Maritime University, Prof. Maureen Etebu; and the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

According to the Vice President, “The Maritime University is an important part of our journey of developing the Niger Delta, as it would tackle restiveness among youths by providing them with education and training, and so benefit them. So, the Maritime University is a win-win for Niger Delta and Nigeria.”

Prof. Osinbajo further said the partnership between the CMU and the two Nigerian universities (Maritime University and UNILAG) was coming at the right time to help develop the country’s human capital.

“Our relationship with Jamaica is a very important one for us and we must continue to explore the very many areas of collaboration to benefit us all. We are truly grateful for the hand of fellowship extended to us,” the VP added.

Also at the meeting was the Acting High Commissioner of Jamaica, Abuja, John Clarke; and a former governor of Bayelsa state, Timipre Sylva, who is the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council of Maritime University.

The Maritime University, which commenced full academic activities in April, is part of the Buhari administration’s Niger Delta New Vision aimed at developing the region.

Similarly, Prof. Etebu said the CMU has offered scholarships to two students of the Maritime University. ‘we are going to draw strength in terms of experience and exposure from the Carribean university,” she said. Also speaking, Prof. Ogundipe said UNILAG’s postgraduate programmes in Maritime Studies would gain from the collaboration with CMU to meet international standards.

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

Also, the National Universities Commission (NUC) had approved that academic activities commence in three faculties namely; Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management, with a combined total of 13 departments with various specializations – from Marine Engineering, Marine Economics to Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The University commenced lectures in April this year following the admission of students into the university for the 2017/2018 academic year.

2, 835 Graduates Vie For NDDC’s Foreign Scholarship

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has conducted Computer-Based Tests for 2,835 candidates out of the over 4,000 that applied for the Commission’s Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship Scheme for 2018.

Speaking at the Rivers State University, ICT Centre, venue of the aptitude test, the Director, Education, Health and Social Services, Mr Goshua Okejoto, explained that the choice of the electronic examination was to enable the Commission to shortlist the right candidates to be selected for the scholarship scheme.

In a statement, the NDDC Director stated that the Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship, which was started in 2010, was meant to equip Niger Delta graduates with relevant training and skills for effective participation in the local content programme of the Federal Government.

He explained that only candidates who had finished the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and secured admission into foreign universities were eligible to participate in the scholarship award process.

Okejoto said that after the aptitude test, 1,500 candidates would be selected for oral interview. He noted: “The process is very transparent as the candidates see their scores immediately after the test. That is the beauty of the computer-based test.”

According to him, the scholarship programme was designed to encourage excellence and debunk the myth that the Niger Delta was the bedrock of militancy. “The NDDC is using the programme to showcase the best of the Niger Delta and this has been justified by the academic performance of previous beneficiaries,” he said.

Okejoto said that the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, was committed to the success of the programme and had directed that the process should be completed by September 21, 2018 with the presentation of award letters to the successful candidates.

He added: “The MD is very passionate about the programme because he wants the NDDC to continue to build the capacity of graduates from the Niger Delta region.”

He said that some new programmes had been added to the scholarship scheme to help universities in the Niger Delta to engage high calibre staff. This, he said, necessitated the introduction of awards in education in addition to studies in management which was added in 2017.

In his remarks, the consultant for the scholarship programme, Mr Godson Ideozu, stressed that computer-based examination encourages transparency because “candidates get to see their scores immediately after writing the examination.”

He observed that the candidates, comprising those for Masters and Doctorate degrees, were examined primarily in their core area of study, noting that the exercise was not only fair but gave the applicants equal opportunity to compete.

Niger Delta: 2,500 Amnesty beneficiaries for training in fishing sector

In line with the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to boost the economy, the Presidential Amnesty Programme has disclosed its plans to train 2,500 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

According to a statement from the Amnesty Office, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, further said 2,000 of the beneficiaries would be employed in the fishing sector at the end of the programme.

Senior Special Assistant to the President, on Niger Delta, Mr. Edobor                 Iyamu, addressing the SAD Amnesty at the meeting in Abuja

Dokubo was quoted as saying that 100 fishing trawlers would be built in Burutu, Delta State, for the training programme expected to commence soon.

 “Towards this end, 100 fishing trawlers are to be built in Burutu, Delta State, for the training programme which is expected to commence soon, at the end of which 2000 of the beneficiaries would be employed,” the statement read.

Inaugurating an implementation committee comprising five subcommittees for the project, Dokubo was quoted as saying that the training will open a vista of opportunities for beneficiaries.”

NDDC to provide more facilities for NYSC in Niger Delta         

  The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has promised to sustain its support for the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, especially in the area of providing facilities in the orientation camps in the Niger Delta region.

In a statement from the commission, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, was quoted as saying this during a courtesy visit by the Director-General of the NYSC, Brig-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.

 

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC,
Mr. Nsima Ekere , receiving a gift from the Director-General of the NYSC,
Brig-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, during a courtesy visit at the NDDC headquarters
in Port Harcourt

He affirmed that the NYSC scheme had been very beneficial to the country, noting that it had helped to build a sense of belonging among Nigerians, as well as helped to unite the country. He added: “For someone like me, I went to the northern part of Nigeria for the first time during my service year. I am very happy that I served in Kano because some of the lessons I learnt there have helped me to live a better life today.”

Ekere called on all Nigerians to promote and support the NYSC programme, because of the role it was playing in nation building, particularly in electioneering, where most of the ad hoc staff used by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct elections were youth corps members.

He noted: “This has become very helpful because before now, when INEC was using locals for elections, they come in with their individual biases. But the youth corps members, who are mostly not from the area, help in ensuring credible and fair elections.”

The NDDC boss suggested that the NYSC programme should incorporate some basic military training, stating: “I know that in some western countries, that is the system in vogue. There are basic military trainings that will help our youths to become better men by inculcating the virtues of discipline, punctuality and responsibility in them. The trainings will help the participants to grow up with some basic knowledge.”

The NYSC Director-General, Brig-Gen. Kazaure, acknowledged the “tremendous help” NDDC had rendered to the scheme in the past. He said: “We felt the need to solicit for more assistance in the provision of facilities in our orientation camps because some of the amenities in these camps have broken-down.”

Kazaure decried the poor state of facilities in the camps, calling on the NDDC to extend more assistance to the NYSC. He promised to put more corps members at the disposal of the Commission.

It would be recalled that the NDDC built a 44-chalet ultra-modern lodge for members of the NYSC serving in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. 

 

NDDC Charges Students to Join Campaign for Peace in Niger Delta

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC,  has charged students and youths to join in campaigning for peace and security in the Niger Delta region.

Giving the advice on behalf of the Managing Director, Dr Nsima Ekere, at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Executive Director Projects, Engr. (Dr) Samuel Adjogbe, urged Niger Delta students to promote peace and dialogue as the preferred options for driving development in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

He stated that promoting awareness campaigns within the Niger delta region remained a viable tool for development agencies that need peace and security to deliver on their mandates, adding that “as an interventionist agency, we require a peaceful environment to carry out our duties.”

 

Adjogbe said that students and youths of the Niger Delta region have a crucial role to play in enthroning peace. He declared: “We don’t want protests and agitations in the Niger Delta anymore. Dialogue is the way to go. We should be talking and negotiating, rather than chasing away investors.

 

“Insecurity increases investment costs and it is based on this that the NDDC is looking at achieving a Niger Delta where investors and expatriates are confident of establishing their businesses for the overall development of the region.”

He emphasised the need to support programmes that would help to foster peace in parts of the Niger Delta, noting that the NDDC was doing its best to enhance the education of youths of the region. As part of this effort, he said that the process for the selection of the 2018 NDDC Foreign Post Graduate Scholarship programme had started. 

Earlier, the National President, Niger Delta Students Union Government, Comrade Ifon Daniel Samuel, remarked that the students’ body was ready to execute programmes that would create strong educational consciousness in the Niger Delta region.

 

He said that the Students Union Government was already planning to host a summit on peace and security in the Niger Delta. He, therefore, appealed to the NDDC to assist the NDSUG in their forthcoming convention which would incorporate discussions on critical issues affecting the region.

NDDC Resumes Post-Graduate Foreign Scholarship Programme for Niger Delta indigenes

 

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has approved the resumption of NDDC Post-Graduate Foreign scholarship to qualified indigenes of the Niger Delta region after a comprehensive restructuring of the programme.

This follows the approval by the Governing Board and Management for the commencement of the 2018 award process.

The Commission, while announcing the resumption of the scholarship scheme, conveys its regrets at the cancellation of the inconclusive 2017 award process, noting the inconveniences suffered by students who applied for the scholarship.

To provide a fresh start and a seamless process, all outstanding tuition for recipients of the scholarship has been cleared, as part of the restructuring instituted by Management, and calls for new applications from qualified candidates for the 2018 programme. (However, any student who has proof that he has not been paid should feel free to contact the Commission immediately).

Meanwhile, the advertisement for the new programme will be published in national media, as well as the Commission’s website.

Established in 2010, the NDDC post-graduate foreign scholarship is designed to produce top level professionals with technical manpower, capacity and expertise who would compete in the oil and gas industry and other sectors of the Niger Delta region.

Worth about $30,000 per annum, it is helping to build a knowledge-based economy that will meet the challenges of globalisation. It covers nine professional disciplines such as engineering, medical sciences, computer science technology, geosciences, environmental sciences, agriculture, environment/oil and gas law, as well as project management.

A total of 1,409 students have benefited from the programme, including Charles Igwe, whose unique redesign of the Turcot Interchange road, as a Ph.D student of Construction Engineering at Concordia University, Canada, helped save the Montreal Area Municipality over $1 billion, and Mr. Ubong Peters, who won a global three-minute thesis competition.