From PRINCE MONDAY WHISKEY, Regional Editor, South South
Amidst unending controversies that has trailed the purported scraping of the Federal University of Marine Technology, Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Council of Delta State, one of the arrow head of the Niger Delta struggle, Chief Daniel Ebi-Erin Ekpebide has said the University is of greater benefit to the Nigerian nation than the locality it is situated.
Chief Ekpebide, the Ibakurowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom meaning the “man with the big heart” said as someone who played critical role in the Niger Delta struggle and the amnesty disarmament discussion said: “I am aware that the Federal Government of the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of the blessed memory conceived the university as part of the amnesty incentive to encourage educational growth in the river side communities of the Niger Delta.
“The Maritime University as it is today is the first of its kind in the sub Sahara Africa, a degree awarding maritime institution, Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Kingdom which remains the hub of maritime activities in the coastal communities of the Niger Delta is a decision that must be sustained without political manipulations.
“The establishment of the university is not only in tandem with the laudable policies of that people oriented Federal Government led by a forthright Northerner and its sustenance by the Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration should ordinarily draw commendation and not the condemnation that itt is currently generating”.
Accordingly to the Gbaramatu High Chief, the present take off campus of the Federal University of Marine Technology at Kurutie is ready and all the people expect the Federal Government to do as the father of the nation is to allow the university to take off without any encumbrances by releasing the N2billion budgeted for its take off in the 2015 federal budget of NIMASA.
Apart from the huge employment opportunities, the university establishment will enhance security and will be of greater benefits to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industries that had hitherto depended on foreign institutions to train some of their specialized personnel of its operations thus reducing capital flight that the nation has been wasting on the training of such personnel.
“As someone who knows the efforts that was put in place by the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration to arrive at this laudable decision, I do not want to believe that the current federal government has anything in mind as it relates to scraping such an important institution where it has expended billions of Naira into constructing lecture halls, student hostels, auditoriums, administrative offices that are 98% completed at the take off Campus in Kurutie.
“if you visit the take off Campus at Kurutie today and you see the standard of infrastructures and facilities that are on ground, you will marvel that such things can be obtained in such terrain where government and multinationals have always adduced excuses to difficult terrain in refusing to develop the area commensurately with its contribution to national development”.
“uoting the Minister of Works, Power, Energy and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) when he said government has no intention to scrap any ongoing federal projects, and judging by what is on ground today, all we expected the Federal Government to do is to commend the immediate past administration for having the political boldness to have established such a world institution in the Niger Delta” he declared.