The Vice-Chancellor of the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko, Delta State, Professor Maureen Etebu has lauded the support of the federal government in the establishment of the institution, even as she called for more support to ensure the successful running of the first maritime university in the country.
Etebu, who stated this while briefing journalists recently, said the support of the federal government has helped in no small way to ensure the smooth take-off of the institution.
The VC, who was a member of the State Executive Council during the administration Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, argued that without the support and co-operation of the federal government, the running of the institution would have met a brick wall.
She also thanked Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo for the special interest he has taken in the establishment of the university, particularly the steps he took when he was the acting President while President Muhammadu Buhari was on vacation about two years ago.
“We cannot thank the federal government enough for what it has done in ensuring the smooth take-off of the university. It did not only approve the take-off grant, but it also ensured the release of the money. Otherwise, there is no way we would have started at the time we did.
“There is no doubt that without the support of the federal government, the establishment of this university would have been a mirage. However, I want to say that like Oliver Twist, we need more support from the federal government so that we can take care of many pending projects we are yet to execute because of the paucity of funds. That is our appeal and prayers. You know that every pioneering project requires a lot of support and co-operation. That is why the school is making this passionate appeal.”
The vice-chancellor also commended the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for what it is doing to ensure that the institution stands on its feet.
She revealed that the management of NIMASA, which has Dr. Dakuku Peterside as its Director General, has not relented in its support for the university since its establishment.
Etebu also commended the Delta State government for what it has done for the university since it started in the coastal community which plays host to some of the tributaries of River Niger.
According to her, the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration has not turned its back to the needs of the institution since it started. “The state government makes us feel at home and that is encouraging. For instance, it gave us two 500 KVA generators. Before these generators were donated to us by the state government, we depended on the community for electric power supply.
NMU kicked off in the 2017/2018 academic session with the “notification of approval to commence undergraduate degree programmes” by the National Universities Commission (NUC). The letter signed by the Director of Academic Planning, Dr. Gidado Bello Kumo on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed read: The commission has considered and approved the commencement of academic activities with the following undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.”
The courses approved for the university include Nautical Science, Transport Logistics Management, Port Management, Marine Economics and Finance, among others. These approved courses and programmes were spread across three faculties: Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management.
The university, which has about 648 students studying various courses as at January 2019 is currently in its 2019/2020 academic session with the belief in certain quarters that the student population would swell in the years ahead as parents would prefer to send their children to a tertiary institution where academic activities run uninterrupted.