News Column

Forex - Jonathan to Unveil Maritime Varsity May 10

May 2, 2014

Andrew Airahuobhor

President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to flag-off the Nigeria Maritime University, the first of its kind in the country, on Saturday, May 10.

The university expected to take-off with Kurutie, Delta State, as temporary site, is scheduled to commence academic activities in September, while construction work continues on the permanent site in Okerenkoko, also in Delta State.

The establishment is in furtherance of the passion by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to build local capacity in the maritime sector and ultimately for the export of manpower. This move is expected to save huge foreign exchange for Nigeria currently training seafarers in foreign universities.

Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), NIMASA's human capacity building initiative, has graduated 51 cadets, while about 2,505 officers and ratings are undergoing various maritime academic programmes in reputable institutions in Philippines, Egypt, India, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Director-General of NIMASA, Ziakede Akpobolokemi said the dearth of human capacity in the maritime sector, occasioned by inadequate maritime training institutions in Nigeria, was a major reason that influenced the decision of the National Assembly to endorse the recommendation of NIMASA to establish a maritime university.

The President is expected to perform the ground-breaking ceremony of the permanent site, in Warri Southwest Local Government Area of Delta State, and commission the university as part of his tour of NIMASA's facilities, according to a statement by the agency's spokesman, Isichei Osamgbi.

The President will similarly perform the ground-breaking of NIMASA Dockyard and Shipyard, expected to build and maintain various sizes of vessels located also in Okerenkoko

As a prelude, Akpobolokemi, last weekend, conducted the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, round the facilities at the university, ahead of the President's visit.

The university would also serve as a research and knowledge centre, Akpobolokemi said, adding that "the Shipyard facility will similarly compliment this objective."

The Minister commended NIMASA for the pace of work at the temporary site of the university and the take-off of construction activities at Okerenkoko.

The agency has also sponsored Maritime Institutes in four Nigerian universities - University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Niger Delta University, Amasoma, Bayelsa State, and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, while the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron continues to enjoy funding from NIMASA even outside the statutory funding requirement as enshrined in the NIMASA Act 2007.

The NIMASA DG said these capacity development initiatives would quicken the pace for the development of human capacity that would conveniently take over the Cabotage trade in the very near future.

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Source: AllAfrica

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