Published On: Thu, Nov 16th, 2017


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Say the University will chart a New Course for Maritime Economy in Nigeria

Interest groups in the Niger Delta region have again applauded President Muhammandu Buhari for the eventual take off of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Delta State, describing the recent upward review of the earlier budgetary allocation from two billion to five billion naira in the 2018 budget for the new university, as a show of sincere commitment on the part of the President towards the sustainable peace, stability and development in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Country Coordinator of the Niger Delta Ex-Agitators’ Forum, Comrade George Sinclair, noted that the bold steps so far taken by the federal government to enable the management of the Maritime University Okerenkoko to commence academic activities in the recent past are pointers to the fact that President Buhari means well for the people of the oil rich region despite earlier attempts from some quarters to undermine the good intentions of the federal government about the institution.

Comrade, who also is an ex-agitator and beneficiary of the Presidential Amnesty Programme’s foreign educational scholarship, said the Maritime University will create massive employment opportunities for youths in the region, informing that so many youths have been trained in different disciplines and vocations, ranging from marine engineering, maritime studies, seamanship, shipping, marine transport related studies, diving, underwater welding, automobile engineering, aviation, tourism and hospitality, agriculture, particularly in aquaculture, among others, who can fill the manpower gap in the maritime sector, using the maritime university as the channel.

He reiterated that the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (Rtd.) has done so much in the area of youth empowerment in the Niger Delta within his short period in office, maintaining that the development of the maritime sector and other accompanying infrastructures in the region will provide the much needed job of economic opportunities that will lead to the creation of about 450, 000 jobs to engage the youths, which will equally impact positively on communities along the coast and those in the hinterland.

He stressed that the maritime environment will continue to provide the platform for many other economic activities and developments that will shape the geo-political and socio-economic dynamics in the Niger Delta region.

The Country Coordinator added that the Maritime University which has the capacity to chart a new course for the maritime economy in the country, has the duty to harness the untapped maritime environment which is richly endowed with lots of resources that can provide sustainable source of livelihood to the people of the region, pointing out that the region’s maritime features and resources would go a long way  to support industries such as fishery, offshore oil and gas, passenger transportation, shipping, ports and marine tourism, restaurant, housing , health and agriculture sector among others.

He pointed out that the expansion of intra-regional and international trade has enhanced the role of the maritime sector globally in boosting the economic growth of maritime nations through shipping and port services among myriad of other ancillary activities.

Comrade Sinclair reiterated that, with the growing importance of seaborne trade, the maritime sector has increasingly played significant role in the development of port cities and coastal communities in other maritime regions, contributing to their wellbeing and prosperity, which could be replicated in the Niger Delta region and the country at large.

It will be recalled that the Maritime University authorities recently commenced the process of recruiting new staff through advertorials published in the Punch, Vanguard, and Sun newspapers, blogs and other online outlets, indicating interest in hiring professors, readers, senior lecturers, lecturers, assistant lecturers and graduate assistants to be employed in the faculties of Science, Maritime Transportation, Maritime Engineering & Technology, Maritime Environmental Management , readers and General Studies.



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