By Piriye Kiyaramo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described the establishment of Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, as a win-win for Niger Delta and Nigeria, noting that the University was part of the journey of developing the Niger Delta.
Osinbajo stated this during a meeting with representatives from three universities; the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), led by the University’s President, Prof. Fritz Pinnock; and his Nigerian counterparts – the Vice Chancellor, Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, Prof. Maureen Etebu; and the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, on Thursday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,
According to him, “The Nigerian Maritime University is an important part of our journey of developing the Niger Delta, as it would tackle restiveness among youths by providing them with education and training, and so benefit them. So, the Maritime University is a win-win for Niger Delta and Nigeria.”
He stated that the academic partnership between Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Jamaica, and two Nigerian universities – University of Lagos and the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State – would be mutually beneficial to each country’s human capital development.
Osinbajo added that the partnership between the CMU and the two Nigerian universities (Maritime University and UNILAG) was coming at the right time to help develop the country’s human capital.
“Our relationship with Jamaica is a very important one for us and we must continue to explore the very many areas of collaboration to benefit us all. We are truly grateful for the hand of fellowship extended to us,” he said.
Also, at the meeting was the Acting High Commissioner of Jamaica, John Clarke; and a former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, who is the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council of Maritime University.
The Maritime University, which commenced full academic activities in April, is part of the Buhari administration’s Niger Delta New Vision aimed at developing the region.
Similarly, Etebu said the CMU has offered scholarships to two students of the Maritime University. “We are going to draw strength in terms of experience and exposure from the Carribean university,” she noted.
Also speaking, Ogundipe said UNILAG’s postgraduate programmes in Maritime Studies would gain from the collaboration with CMU to meet international standards.
In his remarks, Pinnock said that he was impressed with the ongoing work at the Maritime University in Delta State, while Clarke thanked the Vice President for the progress of work at the University.
“We are bringing experience, accreditation, global certification; we want to leverage this with both universities – Nigerian Maritime University and the University of Lagos, which are two fantastic universities. And we see this collaboration is about strengthening each university, learning from each other and building together,” Pinnock said.