By Patrick Aigbokhan
The opening of the much controversial-driven maritime university sited in the Niger Delta has been billed to take place in October this year, according to Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor.
Governor Okowa gave the assurance when he met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday, stating that his deputy is part of the committee to work out the processes to enable the maritime university take off in October.
“We are also aware that a committee has been set up led by the Minister of Education; my deputy is part of the committee to work out the processes to enable the maritime university take off in October.
“It is a step in the right direction. So, I came to appreciate the vice president and to discuss some other issues with him,” he said.
This is coming on the heals of directives given by the Presidency, urging the Ministry of Education to resume activities towards opening the maritime university sited in the Niger Delta before the end of the year as demanded by stakeholders in the region.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said in a statement on Friday that the process would be coordinated by a five-man inter-agency committee headed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
The committee, which comprises the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the National Universities Commission, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Office of the Deputy Governor of Delta State, would collaborate with the principal officers and the governing council of the institution, Akande said, adding that there were plans by the Presidency to conclude the fact-finding tours to the Niger Delta with visits by Vice President Osinbajo to Cross River and Ondo States.
While also commending the Vice President, Okowa said Osinbajo had ensured peace in Delta State in particular, saying, “If you notice, in the past few months, there has been peace in Delta State. So, I wanted to appreciate his visit to Delta State because that definitely helped us in the peace process.
“And just yesterday (Thursday), the Bill for the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, passed third reading at the Senate. That is definitely a very strong plus for us.”