Ben Dunno, Warri

Members House of Representatives committee on Maritime Safety, Administration and Education, have expressed optimism on the quick passage of the bill establishing the Nigeria Maritime University, (NMU) Okenrenkoko in Warri South West Local Government area of Delta state.

Making the assurance during a courtesy visit to the palace of His Royal Majesty Oboro Gbaraun II, Aketekpe Agadagba, Paramount ruler, Gbaramatu kingdom, yesterday, Deputy Chairman of the House committee, Hon Uduak Aphonsus Odudoh, said the Committee sees the institution as a major asset to the growth of the maritime sector of the nation’s economy.

While noting that Committee had earlier submitted a report where the NMA’s role in a vibrant maritime space had been clearly established, he stated that their visit to the institution was to have a first hand information on some of its challenges, in order to present a more comprehensive report to quicken passage of the bill.

According to him; “By the time we get back to Abuja we should be able to add value to the university. We know what the country, the blue economy stands to gain. Funding optimally is one thing and that is why we are here. We will ensure the university gets its deserved value”.

“Like I said earlier that our visit will add value to the university. The host community and it’s rights, the labour law, I have listened to all you said. On the bill we are going to expedite action on the bill that it is passed.“

“We are here as a Committee representing the National Assembly. As we are gathered here some other committees are also on oversight functions in other parts of the country, lawmaking, oversight functions and representations are the primary functions of the legislators“.

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Earlier , Chief Godspower Gbenekame who spoke for the monarch enjoined the National Assembly to ensure timely passage of the bill establishing the university, adding that Gbaramatu which is the host of the institution should enjoy deserving attention on matters of employment and related areas.

He recalled struggles by Chief Dr Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo and other key leaders from the area in bringing to bear the university project , adding that some of them were even called names because of their commitment to the university project.

“We thank the National Assembly, NASS, for all they have been doing on the university. We are aware our own bill has gone round and still going round. It has passed second reading in the House of Representatives. Like Oliver twist we will ask for more.

You already know the needs of the university . The NIMASA that established the university is not helping matters. We have.criee,.Tompolo was.criminalized because of the university. The military placed restriction on our monarch because of the university. My wife and I were kidnapped because of the university

The paramount ruler of Gbaramatu kingdom, His Royal Majesty Oboro Gbaraun II, Aketekpe Agadagba, before offering his royal prayers on the House committee team and others also urged the lawmakers to urgently pass the bill establishing the university.