Nigeria Maritime University Begins Academic Session In September 2017 – Gov Okowa

 Militant youths in the Niger delta now have cause to lay down their arms permanently as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has assured that the contentious Nigeria Maritime University situated in Okerenkoko in Delta State will begin academic session in September 2017.Okowa said the federal government, through the federal ministry of education has constituted a committee which includes the state deputy governor, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, to hasten plans which will lead to eventual commencement of academic activities in the 2017/2018 academic year.The university has been a contentious issue over the past two years following the handing over of government from former President Goodluck Jonathan to President Muhammadu Buhari in 20015.Issues surrounding the university had initially raised dust leading to plans to scrap the university following allegations that it was used to siphon money as the land was reportedly acquired from the most wanted former militant commander, Government Ekpemukpolo, aka Tompolo.Minister of Transportation; Mr Rotimi Amaechi, under whose auspices the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is to fund the university had also said there was no money to fund the university, a statement which was interpreted by many to mean his unwillingness for the university to be established in Delta state.The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and other leaders of the Ijaw ethnic nationality have consistently called for the opening of the university and commencement of the academic activity at the university.At the announcement of the alleged cancellation of the university, there was uproar from youths and opinion leaders of the region and especially Ijaw leaders.The re-opening of the university was one of the 16-point-agenda presented before President Muhammadu Buhari by elders as one of the requirement for permanent peace to return to the region and for the militants to ceasefire in the almost seven months of violence in the region last year.When Vice President Yemi Osibanjo visited the region on a fact finding mission, he also promised that the university would be considered and academic activities would commence in earnest.He said the region would not be neglected as it is the area that feeds the nation with its vast oil and gas resources spread across the coastal area of the region.Governor Okowa, who spoke at the 2017 national workers day in Asaba, Delta state capital, assured that modalities are already in place for the commencement of the university.