The Maritime University will be opened this year, as activities towards achieving that goal will commence as soon as possible.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists on Friday.
Akande said the directive was part of the Niger Delta New Vision of the present administration, which is in line with the demands made by major stakeholders in the region.
He said the prompt implementation of the directive to the Ministry of Education would be coordinated by a five-man inter-agency Committee headed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
Other members of the committee, according to him, will come from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Universities Commission, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Office of the Deputy Governor of Delta State.
He said, “The committee is to finalise 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.
“Besides this, and in further demonstrating its unalloyed commitment to a new vision for the Niger Delta, the Buhari Presidency has been working assiduously to evolve a number of robust strategies for key multi-sectoral outcomes and deliverables for the people of the oil-producing communities.”
He listed them to include the guidelines issued by the Federal Government, reaffirming its commitment and outlining its objectives towards the establishment of modular refineries in the Niger Delta.
This, he said, included the development of the technical criteria for issuing operating licenses that is now in final stages of drafting and would be released soon.
Akande also listed a road map for addressing regional development challenges which he said was being developed by an inter-agency working group comprising 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 the Pan-Niger Delta Forum and key resource persons financed by a bi-lateral international development partner.
“The road map will be based on the framework of the 16-point agenda developed by PANDEF,” he said.
He also mentioned a strategy for community-based participation in pipeline protection and policing which he said was underway and would 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.
Meanwhile, there are plans by the Presidency to conclude the fact-finding tours to the Niger Delta with visits by Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to Cross River and Ondo states.
“It would be recalled that under the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Vice- President undertook visits to oil producing States in the Niger Delta.
“During the visits, series of town hall meetings and consultations were held with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in a confidence building effort,” Akande added.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )