Ben Dunno, Warri
Academics and non- Academics staff of Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko, Warri South-West Council area of Delta state, have demanded more funding support from various stakeholders, mostly government and multi national oil companies operating in Niger Delta region, in order to complement Prof. Emmanuel Adigio led management developmental initiatives.
Professor Innocent Miebaka Aprioku, in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Change at the Okerenkoko campus, who bared his mind on some of the challenges facing the institution, said although the present management was doing everything possible to tackle most of these pressing needs but still requires alot of support from its stakeholders across the region and beyond.
According to him; To be frank, I have been here in this Department not too long and since I came, it has been very difficult actually to stay here to do good work. For me, and perhaps, others, particularly the staff members, we don’t have good accommodation, we patch up with one another even in compacted apartments, as you can see here and this is not too good for the wellbeing of the lecturers.”.
“The people who established this place (NIMASA) have not been forthcoming for a very long time. If you went down there, (Pointing at the direction of the open space where building projects were being constructed), you would see the main campus. And a lot of work was done but some of them have been abandoned while some are at the stage of 60% and 70% project completion”.
“Presently, we have two campuses, one at Kurutie and the other at Okeŕenkoko, where we are now. Some of our lecturers have to shuttle between here and there because all the first year students’ courses are over there”.
“Those lecturers that are here and needed to go over there to take the year one students in some courses, sometimes find it very difficult to get there because boats are not available go take them across. So far, that is my real experience but I just pray that NIMASA will complete the project that they started so that both the students and staff will be comfortable with what we are doing here”.
Speaking further, Professor Aprioku, stated: “This is a great institution, we can only compare it with the Malmo Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden. At least, that what our country has, and it is not only meant for just Seamen for the private sector or so to speak, but we are supposed to even train Naval officers, teach them Naval architecture, some other things about environment for which, I am here. You know, I am teaching Global Environmental Challenges and I just thought we should upgrade this university to that standard at Malmo”.
“In the meantime, the new VC, Prof. Adigio, is trying, in fact, for me, he is doing a 110% job, that is how I rate him. He has been able to woo private concerns and government establishments, to take over projects that are very key to the school and you can see that all these projects are ongoing within the university environment”.
“Besides infrastructural development, the Vice Chancellor is still doing alot in the area of academic excellence and this can clearly be demonstrated in the number of courses that had been accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) under his leadership and we just hope that time passes through for him to be able to achieve all those things he’s been working hard to achieve for the institution”.
Also speaking, Dr. Posigha Bassile, the Ag. Chief Librarian NMU, disclosed that the school library had upgraded remarkably in terms of IT connectivity and acquisitions of required text books mostly needed by the students donated by TETFUND based on the efforts of the new management led by Prof. Emmanuel Adigio,
While acknowledging that a lot still needed to be done in the upgrade of the e-Library system in order to attain the high standards being proposed by the management, Dr. Bassile, urged government and other stakeholders, especially the IOCs to provide the necessary funding that would enable the administrators consolidate on what they have been able to achieve within a short time the Vice Chancellor took over the mantle of leadership in the institution.
In his own view, Dr. Bolou D. Bolou, the Ag. Director of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), attributed the progress so far made in the Institution to the joint efforts of the past and present Vice Chancellors, who he described as IT complaint and result oriented administrators, particularly in the area of ensuring that the students are adequately trained and well equipped for the jobs after graduation.
He was however quick to point out that the IT Centre needed funding assistance from stakeholders to install the optic fibre services that would enhance effective network coverage within the school environment in order to improve the epileptic network system that they are currently battling with both the Centre and the e- Library the school had upgraded to in recent time.
The her opinion, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mrs. Preye Worwei, applauded the remarkable contributions of both the past and present Vice Chancellors to the growth of the University, noting that the wealth of experience they brought to bare in the administration of the school at different times had helped in the success stories so far recorded by the institution within a short time of its establishment.
She however expressed the need for both the present management and the staff to close ranks and address whatever differences they are having in the interest of the University and the entire Niger Delta region that’s benefiting from the establishment of the institution in the state.