The Imo State Honorable Commissioner for Niger Delta Affairs, Prince Dr. Henry Okafor on Tuesday August 30th, 2023, paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Prof Nnenna Oti in effort to consolidate on the existing synergy between the institution and Imo State Government for the overall

advancement of learning, particularly as it concerns maritime education in the state.

Speaking at the occasion, Okafor thanked the Vice Chancellor and members of the school Senate for  welcoming him to the campus and commended the good relationship between the school and 3R government. Okafor informed the Vice Chancellor that the remarkable improvement of FUTO both in learning and infrastructure under her leadership had not gone unnoticed.

Okafor used the same the opportunity to extol the uprightness of character of Mrs Oti, recalling her exploits in the 2023 general election, where she, as INEC returning officer in Abia Governorship election, braced enormous odds, refusing to compromise best practice and in the end, ensuring that the collective will of the electorate was not subverted.

Going to the meat of the matter, Okafor informed his hosts that the 3R government of His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodimma is enthusiastic and in a hurry to continue the expansion of frontiers of education in the state and in the Imo Niger Delta area in particular. And this mindset already informed the establishments of Imo State University of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in Ohaji/Egbema, Imo State Polytechnic Omuma in Oru East and a campus of Federal Polytechnic Nekede at Abaezi in Ohaji/Egbema.

Continuing, Okafor stated that similarly, His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodimma is well disposed to reactivating the abandoned Imo  Marine University project and with the help of  FUTO  authority could be repurposed as an extended campus of the University for school of maritime management technology. 

Okafor argued that the availability of huge waterfront at that location has made it ideal for siting a maritime institution. The honorable Commissioner recalled his tour of South Korea and some countries in Europe and revealed that all the maritime schools he came across in those countries are located near riverbank or seaside and this was deliberately designed to greatly enhance learning experience.

Okafor was therefore hopeful that the new marriage between Imo State Government and FUTO authority, as mentioned above, would rocket the dreams of establishing a maritime institution in the Imo Niger Delta area into actualization.

In her response, the Vice Chancellor, Mrs Oti poured benevolent sentiments on the Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodimma, attributing some of the achievements recorded by the University in recent years as unattainable if not for the valuable support of the Governor. 

Madam Chancellor thanked the Honorable Commissioner for making out time to visit the school and revealed that a committee made up of competent individuals had already been set up by the Senate of the University to liaise with Imo State Government and work out favorable modalities for possible takeover of the abandoned project.

Highlights of the visit included the Honorable Commissioner signing of the visitors’ book and photography session.