BUDGET 2018: Maritime university goes through hard times 

…We are lacking learning facilities

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…We are lacking learning facilities

…Government should provide needed equipment to facilitate learning process

Having overcome various controversy and commenced resumption on April, 2018 the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU) which is located at Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Kingdom of Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State is faced yet with other challenges which have left the school population in a state of complaint. 

To date, what seems the biggest challenge to face the school was the action of the National Assembly (NASS) which drastically reduced the budget of N5billion which the presidency approved for the school this year to N3.5billion.

The action attracted a lot of flaks from some concerned Niger Deltans. 

IYC Reacts

One of such groups was the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) who through a statement signed by its President, Eric Omare lampooned the NASS members.

“We consider the action of the National Assembly as insensitive and retrogressive to the development of the country.

“It is utter selfishness for the National Assembly to reduce the budget proposal for key developmental initiatives and increased the budget for their personal cost when they are supposed to reduce their recurrent expenses.

“We condemn this action by the National Assembly. The National Assembly demonstrated selfishness and arrogated their personal interest over and above the national interest which they were elected to serve.”

Going down memory lane, Omare said: “It would be recalled that the immediate take-off of the Nigerian Maritime University, Delta State was one of the key agreements reached between the leaders of the Niger Delta region and the federal government towards returning peace back to the region.

“It was in furtherance of this agreement that the five billion naira was budgeted for the take-off of the university which we the stakeholders in the Niger Delta region consider grossly inadequate because of the difficult terrain where the university is sited.

“The Nigeria Maritime University, Delta State needs a lot of money for it to find its footing especially at this initial stage of its existence in developing key physical infrastructure and engagement of qualified personnel to run the university.”

GbaramatuVoice had earlier reported the conflicts that surrounded the varsity before it was finally laid to rest by the Maritime Institution and given the go-ahead by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence graduate degree programmes, and admit JAMB candidates.

Having approved three faculties for the University; namely Faculty of Marine Transport; Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Environmental Management.

The Vice Chancellor (VC) noted that this was in line with the Federal Government’s new vision for the Niger Delta, to ensure a smooth take-off of Nigeria’s first maritime university.

GbaramatuVoice paid a visit to the University and discovered firsthand the plight these students are facing. 

Students Lament

Speaking with one of the electrical engineering students of the institution(name withheld) he enumerated on some of the problems they are faced with in the university.

In his words “we don’t have enough tools to work with during practical if at all there any, hence leaving us with only theory aspect of study most of the time. Now for engineering students to learn without practical is a big challenge because this is what is affecting Nigeria as a whole where they have acquired knowledge but cannot implement it”. 

In addition, he stated that “since inception no practical have been conducted for us for three months now since our resumption. We only go for class lecture without practising what we have learnt. 

Also the books available in the library are not enough. Need I say It does not even begin to match the standard the institution have drown to its name. When students go to the library to read, they end up coming back to their hostels right away simply because the books needed are not readily available. I must say the institution is lacking in both theory and practical knowledge and the government have to look into this situation”.

Speaking on the accommodation provided by the school, he explained that currently sixteen persons are assigned a room. A room which was originally meant for only ten persons. 

“This is overcrowding and is not good for us as students,” he said. 

APC leader cry foul

GbaramatuVoice gathered that the government has plans to divert the school dockyard which according to the students is not a good idea because if the government should go ahead with diverting the dockyard there will be no place for the students to take part in practicals/training.

According to the APC leader in Delta State, Chief Michael Johnny: “if the government should take steps in diverting the dockyard, then the government is showing injuctice to the Niger Delta people”.

By David Owei & Shina Badmus

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