Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has said the commencement of lectures for the 2017/2018 academic year, on Thursday, at the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, was a fulfillment of the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to develop the Niger Delta in line with its vision for the region.
The university was one of the demands of the leaders of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) in their meeting with President Buhari in November 2016.
The elders had also tabled the same request during Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s tour of the oil producing communities in 2017.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said a total of 196 students have so far been accepted into the University to commence their academic programmes.
The Maritime University was granted approval in January by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes 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, effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.
According to the statement, The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had also listed the University in its Central Admissions Processing System in January 24, 2018, while interviews for academic staff positions were conducted between 1st and 2nd of March, 2018.
President Buhari had approved an increase in the take-off grant allocated to the University from the N2 billion to N5 billion. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November 2017.
Similarly, an additional N1 billion was approved by the President to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University in November 2017.
The Delta State government had also donated two 500KVA generators to the University.