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The National Universities Commission (NUC) has granted approval to the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta, to begin undergraduate degree programmes from the 2017/2018 academic session.

Laolu Akande, the senior special assistant to the Vice President on media and publicity, gave the indication in a release issued on Wednesday.

He said the approval underscored FG’s commitment to develop the Niger Delta in line with the Buhari administration’s new vision to develop the region.

According to the release, the NUC approved that academic activities begin in three faculties namely: transport, engineering and environmental management.

Akande said the faculty of transport has four departments, namely: nautical science, transport logistics management, marine economics and finance, and port management.

He said faculty of engineering has five departments – Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum and Gas Engineering.

Also faculty of Environmental Management has four departments: Environmental Management and Pollution, Meteorology and Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Marine Geology.

He reiterated that the Maritime University would be extended all privileges accorded to other Federal Universities.

Akande recalled that the university began operations in 2017 and, in Nov. 2017, invited job applications for academic staff with advert placement in national dailies.

He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari also approved an increase in the take-off grant to the University from the N2 billion earlier announced to N5 billion.

He said the grant was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November 2017.

Akande said another N1billion was approved by the president to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the university.

“Under the New Vision for the Niger Delta, which followed the President’s meeting with leaders of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) in Nov. 2016, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was delegated to undertake a tour of the oil producing communities.

“The take-off of the Maritime University was one of the major requests tabled before the Federal Government,’’ Akande said.

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