This was one of the highlights of the meeting of the Niger Delta Inter-Ministerial Committee on Friday, called to assess progress on the implementation of the Buhari administration’s New Vision for Niger Delta.
The meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja which was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, also received reports of ongoing development projects being implemented in the region.
A total of 196 students have so far been accepted into the University to commence their academic programmes, while 76 applications still pending. Lectures are expected to fully commence later in April.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved an increase in the take-off grant allocated to the University from the N2bn earlier announced to N5bn. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November 2017.
Similarly, an additional N1B was approved by the President to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University in November 2017.
The Delta State government has also donated two 500KVA generators to the University.
The Maritime University was recently granted approval in January by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had listed the University in its Central Admissions Processing System in January 24, 2018, while interviews for academic staff positions were conducted between 1st and 2nd of March, 2018.
The NUC had approved that academic activities commence in three faculties namely; Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management, with a combined total of 13 departments with various specializations – from Marine Engineering, Marine Economics to Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture.
It would be recalled that, following the commencement of operations in 2017, the university had, in November 2017, invited job applications for academic staff with advert placement in major national dailies.
The meeting was also briefed on the progress of the modular refineries. One set of modular refinery package shipment has since arrived Nigeria, and after undergoing clearance at customs, would be installed in Delta State; while another set, which is expected to arrive the country in April this year, would be installed in Rivers State.
The operation of the modular refineries would include the involvement of communities where they are located. Prof. Osinbajo said this would ensure that communities benefit directly from the refineries which would help create jobs and engage youths in the region.
It would be recalled that in December last year, the Inter-Ministerial Committee received a report that 38 licensed privately financed greenfield and mini-modular refineries investors have so far indicated interests in the establishment of refineries in the region, with at least ten (10) of the licensed refineries investors at an advanced stage of development.