Nigeria Maritime University sits in limbo over Governing Council dissolution
By our Correspondent
Strong indications emerged that the Nigeria Maritime University NMU, Okerenkoko, Delta State is currently sitting in limbo as Federal Government’s dissolution of its Governing Council has created a major vacuum in the institution that has been struggling to survive, Business and Transport can authoritatively report.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu had Thursday, announced the dissolution of the Governing Councils of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State and the NMU, which he said took immediate effect.
Though a statement signed by the Director of Information of the ministry, Ben Goong, did not give any reason for the dissolution, but it was gathered that it might not be unconnected with fraud allegations leveled against the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mrs. Maureen Etebu.
Competent sources, however told our correspondent that the dissolution of the Council headed by the current Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva has further created a major vacuum in the university, especially given the faulty structure of its administration.
It was gathered that the dissolution of the Council, is an indication of Federal Government’s unwillingness to renew the appointment of the Vice Chancellor, which expired May 25, 2020.
Investigations also showed that this development was worsened by the fact that the university neither has a Registrar nor Deputy Vice Chancellors, which might give rise to succession challenges before a new board is appointed.
The structure seemingly makes the Vice Chancellor a Sole Administrator of some sort.
For instance, pieces of information together gleaned from the university’s official website indicate that the Vice Chancellor heads the administrative structure of the institution followed by the Chief Librarian of the university, Dr. Baba Aduku instead of DVCs or a Registrar.
In addition to Federal Government’s unwillingness to re-appoint Prof Etebu as Vice Chancellor, the decision to dissolve the Council may not be unconnected with the fact that the Chairman may not be able to combine his functions effectively with those of the Ministry of Petroleum, given the tight schedule of President Muhammadu, who is the senior minister.
Prof Etebu, who is believed to be a close associate of Sylva, having been a Commission during his tenure as Governor of Bayelsa State, was first appointed in 2015 but was re-appointed in 2017 and had been lobbying to have her tenure extended following her failed governorship bid in Bayelsa State.
Prof Etebu is the first female Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Nigeria and belongs in the league of legends.
Until her appointment as the pioneer Vice Chancellor, Nigeria Maritime University, Delta State, she was a staunch figure in Mechanical Engineering as Head of Department, Associate Dean, Director, Institute of Technology Engineering and Management, a Professorial Chair occupant of El-Rufai Professorial Chair in Engineering Management (a Chair well befitting to her pedigree) and then Dean Faculty of Engineering, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.