Nigeria’s Presidency has directed the resumption of activities towards the eventual opening of the Nigerian Maritime University before the end of the year, in line with the demands championed by major stakeholders in the region.
This was disclosed in a statement from the office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, signed by his media aide, Laolu Akande,
stating that this was one of the several follow-up actions to the recent Presidential engagement with the Niger Delta region.
The prompt implementation of the directive on the re-opening of the Maritime University to the Ministry of Education is to be coordinated by a 5-man inter-agency Committee headed by the Minister of Education.
Other members of the Committee will be drawn from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Universities Commission (NUC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) & Office of the Deputy Governor of Delta State
The Committee is to finalize the ongoing processes towards the opening of the Nigeria Maritime University in the 2017/2018 Academic Session.
The Committee will work collaboratively with the current Principal Officers and the Governing Council of the institution.
Akande also said that there are plans to conclude the fact-finding tours to the Niger Delta with visits by the Vice President to Cross River and Ondo States.
Recall that the Vice President undertook visits to oil producing States in the Niger Delta. During the visits, series of townhall
meetings and consultations were held with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in a confidence building effort.
The government as part of efforts to reach peace deals with stakeholders in the Niger Delta region, has been working to evolve a number of strategies for key multi-sectoral outcomes and deliverables for the people of the oil-producing communities.
Some of those include: General guidelines issued by the Federal Government, reaffirming its commitment and outlining its objectives towards the establishment of Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta.
This includes, the development of the technical criteria for issuing operating licenses that is now in final stages of drafting and would be released soon.
According to Akande, a roadmap for addressing regional development challenges is being developed by an inter-agency working group comprising of Ministry of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. This group is working in
partnership with experts seconded by Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and key resource persons financed by a bi-lateral international development partner.
The roadmap will be based on the framework of the 16-point agenda developed by PANDEF.
A strategy for community-based participation in pipeline protection and policing is underway and will be validated with series of engagement processes, collaboratively with PANDEF, oil communities and other communities in the region that play host to the vast network of oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.
Earlier the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa commended the Buhari led administration for its commitment to addressing the concerns of the Niger Delta people.
He asserted the restoration of peace in Delta State and noted that the State Government is actively working with the FG on several of the plans, including the opening of the Maritime University.