The Federal Government says it will continue to embark on meaningful projects that will attract development to the Niger Delta.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this on Saturday at the maiden matriculation ceremony of the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU).
The programme was held at the temporary site of the institution in Kurutie, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta.
Osinbajo, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Niger Delta, Mr Edebor Iyamu, said NMU was one of the strongest demonstrations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the development of the Niger Delta.
“This university commenced academic activities with 270 students spread across 13 undergraduates programme in three faculties of Engineering, Environmental Management and Marine Transport and Logistics.
“Buhari has made it clear to develop the Niger Delta in the last four years. It is a measure of the President to re-write the story of a rejected region.
“The seriousness in which we view the Niger Delta informed the series of unprecedented engagement that resulted in the comprehensive development plan known as the new vision of the Niger Delta.
” The new vision has guided us every step and has also helped in building this university.
“Twenty-one companies were awarded remediation contract in Ogoniland and 15 per cent of the contract sum has been released by way of mobilisation.
” The four modular refineries in the Niger Delta are near completion. Amnesty programme has received adequate support and funding,” Osinbajo said.
Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), appealed for approval and construction of more infrastructure for the speedy growth of the institution.
“NMU is a professional university that will not be only accredited by the Nigerian University Commission but by the Nigerian Maritime Administration.
” If you want to have a world-class maritime university, you must also have a world-class infrastructure. We must collaborate to support the university, ” he said.
In the same vein, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ongoebi Etubu, appealed to the federal government to assist the institution in the areas of infrastructure.
“We have three challenges namely accommodation, road and electricity.
” I appeal to the federal government to expeditiously come to our aid by recommencing the project work at the permanent site of the University in Okerenkoko, in Warri South-West.
“Government should also help us install Gas generating sets for electricity supply,” she said.
In attendance were Delta Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro; Sen. James Manager, Timipre Sylva, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council as well as traditional rulers in the Gbaramatu Kingdom. (NAN)