NIMASA in Empathy visit, Donates relief materials to IDPs, Igando

Written by Maritime First

…As Presidency says: We’re walking the talk in Niger Delta***

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) today paid an empathy visit today to the Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) at the Igando Emergency Relief and Resettlement Camp Lagos, to show their overwhelming support.

The Agency management then supplied them with food items and various relief materials.

Speaking during the visit the Director of Special Duties, NIMASA,  Lami Tumaka, said the Agency decided to visit the relief centre to show their support to the victims of the Lagos collapsed building at the Ita-Faaji axis of Lagos.

According to her, “We are here today under the social responsibility of NIMASA to show our support to the victims.

“We can only imagine what they have gone through. So, we pray Almighty God does not allow such to occur again.”

She explained that NIMASA was making arrangement to visit twenty other states, Lagos being the first.

 “The other states we are going to visit include, Ogun State, Niger State, Delta State, Katsina State, Osun State, among others.

“I am making a special appeal to every other institutions and government agencies to follow the footstep of NIMASA to help support this people with funds and empowerment so as to improve their standard of living.

On his remark, the General Manager, Lagos State Emergency and Management Agency, (LASEMA) Abiodun Tiamiyu, highlighted that over 700 displaced persons were initially accommodated at the centre before the Lagos state government screened out two hundred people, so now they are five hundred people that are accommodated here.

 “As at weekend we had over 700 people in camp and then we got approval for 500, so definitely we had to do some screening and successfully we took some people away who were not supposed to be here.

“A lot of companies and civil society groups have been here to support these people; NIMASA’s visit today is another wonderful experience. NIMASA has been a great partner with LASEMA.

Also Read: KATSINA: Nigeria Customs distributes rice, relief materials to IDPs, orphanages

“I also want to take advantage of this occasion to send our sincere appreciation to the Director General, Dakuku Peterside, we appreciate you and on behalf of these people who will be benefitting from all of these, on their behalf I thank you very much for this wonderful support.

Speaking during an interview with Journalists at the camp, a victim of the Ita-Faaji collapsed building, Adetinpe Qudus, urged the government to assist this initiative by empowering the victims.

 Meanwhile, the Agency Director-General has assured that his Management would ensure that the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko in the coming days, marks the launch of an institution of critical importance to the economic development of the country.

 Dakuku stated this at the weekend during the maiden matriculation of the university, held at its takeoff site at Kurutie, in Gbaramatu Kingdom of Delta State, stressing that he would ensure the school fulfils for Nigeria, a major economic dream of having an institution that would produce high-end manpower for its growing maritime industry, while helping to develop the locals and build lasting peace in the Niger Delta.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said the project was another demonstration of Niger Delta’s strategic importance to Nigeria. Osinbajo said it also showed how the Federal Government was “walking the talk in the Niger Delta.”

Dakuku stated, “This is the fulfillment of a dream. Recall that many years ago, precisely in 2013, NIMASA initiated the idea of a Nigerian maritime university to fill a gap. We identified that if you want to grow your maritime industry, there are three important elements. One, is the asset, the vessel itself; the second one is the human capacity; the third is the supporting infrastructure. For all these three, the most important is the human element. And we clearly identified that fact that we are lagging behind in the human element and we needed to build capacity.

“To build high-end capacity, we need our own maritime university. We were among the leading maritime nations without a maritime university. So today is the fulfillment of that great dream.”

Dakuku commended the Federal Government’s financial commitments to the university, but said more needed to be done. “We appreciate the grant by the Federal Government to support the numerous grants given by NIMASA, acting also on behalf of the Federal Government. But, without a doubt, we need to put more money here because we need a lot of infrastructure apart from the human resource. We have a good number of professors. We need to put a lot of infrastructure in place,” he stated.

He explained that NIMASA would intensify engagements with the Budget Office, Office of the Vice President, and other stakeholders on how to collaboratively fund the NMU.

“We are gradually repositioning this country to become a major hub for maritime activities. And when we say major hub for maritime activities, it is not just about trans-shipment or about shipment itself. It could be a hub just supplying manpower, supplying seafarers, doing insurance business or being in the business of ship finance. 

“We are gradually becoming a hub, we are putting the right building blocks in place to make this country a hub for maritime activities and we would reap the benefits in a few years’ time,” he stated further. 

The Vice President, who was represented by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Edobor Iyamu, said the commencement of academic activities at the premier maritime university in Nigeria was another example of how the President Muhammadu Buhari government was “walking the talk in the Niger Delta region, which is not being viewed in terms of its past, but in terms of its potential. And this is a potential that is not limited to oil and gas, but is actually focused on the development of the human capital. We are confident that the Niger Delta, sooner than later, would come to be defined not by crude oil, but by the quantum of its human resource.”

In his own remarks, the Pro-Chancellor of the University and Chairman, Governing Council, Chief Timipre Sylva, commended NIMASA’s vision and support for the university, saying the institution has demonstrated capacity to play a key role in the global maritime industry. Sylva said, “NMU had shown great capacity for rapid growth and development, a defining characteristic of upward mobile organisations the world over.” He added, “We are fully persuaded that it is only a matter of time before this premier maritime university in Nigeria will play significant national, regional and global roles.”

The Vice Chancellor of NMU, Professor Ongoebi Maureen Etebu, disclosed that the Federal Government had fully implemented the N3.4 billion takeoff grant for NMU in 2018 budget. 

Etebu, who appreciated NIMASA for initiating and encouraging the university, and the DG, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, added, “A maritime university is of strategic importance to the socio-economic growth of this country. Considering the enormous waterways of Nigeria, and the geographic, economic and security importance attached to these waterways, it is a wonder that our country waited for 58 years before birthing this institution.”

NMU, which is solely owned by the Federal Government, started academic activities in April 2017. Last Saturday’s matriculation ceremony was a combined exercise for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 students.

Among dignitaries that attended the matriculation ceremony were Acting Governor of Delta State, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro; senator for Delta South, Senator James Manager; House of Representatives member for Eseodo/Ilaje Federal Constituency, Ondo State, Hon. Akinjo Kolade Victor; House of Representatives member, Burutu Federal Constituency, Delta State, Hon. Julius Gbabojor Pondi; representative of the National Universities Commission (NUC); and traditional rulers from Gbaramatu Kingdom.

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