From Juliana Taiwo Obalonye, Abuja
All is set for the commissioning of a jetty to serve as fishing logistic base, at Iru-Habour Point by the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, NIOMR and the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, FCFMT.
The Chairman of the Board of the Institutions, Abdulmalik A. Usman, who spoke to reporters at Lagos, shortly after the last board’s meeting, also said that some other projects would be commissioned at Ogbolomi, Lagos.
He said the Jetty had been abandoned since 1985, until the President Muhammadu Buhari administration came on board to revive it through massive rehabilitation and repair works. The Jetty is already at 75per cent near Completion.
On completion the jetty will serve as logistics base for all types of Fishing vessel and support vessels visiting Western part of Nigeria and training vessel for the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology.
The chairman also commended the Lagos State Government for their support in rescuing about 80 per cent of the Institution Land from land grabbers.
Usman and the Board members used the occasion to tour facilities of the two institutions.
During the tour, the Chairman and Board members were briefed by management of the institutions, on the progress made so far:
At the three NIOMR outstations of Buguma, Sapele and Aluu and the College’s permanent site in Igbolomi. In Buguma, various works done include construction of walk way, repairs of vehicles and roof were carried out in year 2020, while outstanding security wages were also paid. Administratively, ICT and office equipment were also given to the outstation. In Sapele, it renovated abandoned classrooms and halls, while ICT office equipment were given to the outstation in the same period. In Aluu, various facilities were reportedly repaired.
At the institution’s main campus and Igbolomi campus, major construction and remodeling projects of both male and female hostels were reactivated during the period. The College has also established Fishery Cluster Zone and demonstration farm on 23 hectares land at Enugu to boost research, vocational skills and IGR through fish production.
During the period, the College website was also upgraded and transferred to the wordpress platform for better reliability and regular software updates.
The Research Vessel Bayagbona that was down due to technical problems since arrival in Nigeria in 2004 has been repaired and the vessel has been to sea 4 times and awaiting a long voyage of 12 days in 2021.
Also the two damaged extruders in the year 2020 have also been repaired adding that the Extruders have been tested for production and found to be doing well.
The Executive Director/CEO of NIOMR, Dr. Sule Abiodun, disclosed that the Institute is at present negotiating with the Lagos State Government and North West Fish Producers on Public Private Partnership (PPP).
He said “with the consent of Lagos State government and Apa community, the Apa Communities in Awori settlement, NIOMR now has the water front for Tilapia and Clarias culture. The programme is expected to commence this year 2021”.
On manpower development, Abiodun said in the year 2020, the Institute saw two staff complete their PhD, while 21 and 43 staff have their MSc and PhD programmes ongoing respectively.
Dr. Abiodun also gave an update on various partnerships that the institute is currently engaged in.
“NIOMR being the centre of excellence in Oceanography and Marine Research, the institute trained six early scientists for Partnership for Observation of Global Ocean (POGO), based in Walvis Bay, Namibia. Also Scientists from Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Republic of Benin and Nigeria participated in the two-months programme. The programme was sponsored by POGO Namibia. At the end of the programme the scientists also bagged the international Maritime Organisation-Standard Training and Certification for Watch Keeping (IMO-STCW) International Certification.