By Eseoghene Emuke
One year after its take-off, the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State has held its first matriculation ceremony for both fresh and old students.
At the matriculation ceremony held on Saturday at the take-off campus in Kurutie, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was serious about leaving lasting legacies of infrastructure and human capital development in the Niger Delta region.
Professor Osibanjo, represented by the Special Assistant on Niger Delta to the Presidency, Mr. Edobor Iyamu, noted that the federal government’s quest to build the region was far beyond its interest on oil and gas resources derived from the region.
He said the government of Buhari through New Vision of the Niger Delta (NVND) has mapped out a development plan for the region towards addressing the age-long under-development of the oil-rich region.
Osinbajo posited that the federal government is desirous of making the university a world-class institution of learning and a place of excellent to meet the maritime demands of the nation.
“NMU, Okerenkoko is one of the strongest demonstrations of commitment of our administration to developing the Niger Delta. The new vision for the Niger Delta is to ensure that the huge resources of the Niger Delta are put to work for the good of the people of the region.
“There is potential not only limited to oil and gas. Niger Delta will soon not be defined by only oil and gas but by human capital resources. We have a vision. NMU will be known all over the world as a centre of Maritime excellence”, the Vice President said.
In his remark, the Acting Governor of Delta State, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, said the state government would support efforts of the federal government by supporting the rapid growth of the institution to meet the core objectives for which it was established.
While making a case for the University Dockyard which is to be situated in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Otuaro said a committee headed by him has been constituted to interface with the presidency and NIMASA towards ensuring a decision is reached in the best interest of all critical stakeholders.
The acting governor enjoined the matriculating students to take their studies seriously. He advised them to concentrate their energies on their studies and shun distractions.
“You are here only for one purpose. The purpose is to add value to the Nigerian society. You can only add value to humanity when you are trained. The untrained mind cannot add value and services to humanity. I enjoin you to invest sufficiently on your mind to become productive tomorrow”, he added.
Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor NMU, Prof. (Mrs) Maureen Etebu commended the President Buhari-led government for matching words with action, saying 2017 visit of Vice President Osinbajo to the university campus was the life changer for the success story of the NMU.
Prof Etebu stressed that the maritime university is of strategic importance to the socio-economic growth of the country considering the enormous waterways, the geographic, economic and security importance attached to the waterways in Nigeria.
She stated, “We are determined to be information and technology-driven, to be service-oriented, to be on best practices and to provide world class educational facilities, training and exposure that would transform the entire fabric of maritime sector and the Nigeria society”.
The VC posited that the university has three faculties that consists of 38 undergraduate programmes, explaining that the first set of matriculating cadets were students from 24 states while the second set consist of students from 28 states across the country.
Meanwhile, His Royal Majesty, King Williams Naira Ogoba, Oboro Gbaraun 11, Aketekpe, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, has urged the federal government through NIMASA to urgently relocate the Maritime University Dockyard from Lagos to the area.
The Gbaramatu monarch, who spoke through the Fiyewei (Spokesman) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, warned students of the institution against night travel on the waterways.
He assured that the people of the kingdom would continue to support the management of the institution and ensure there was peace through promotion of harmonious relationship between the students and the host community
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