President Goodluck Jonathan will on Saturday, May 10, flag off the commencement of the Nigeriaâ€™s first maritime university located in the Niger-Delta region. The president will also perform the groundbreaking for the commencement of construction works in the university permanent site, located at Okerenkoko, both in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Idris Umar, the minister of transport, after touring the facilities recently, commended the efforts of NIMASA for the pace of work at the temporary site of the university as well as the take-off of construction activities at Okerenkoko where the NIMASA dockyard and shipyard as well as the permanent site of the university are to be located.
Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, the director general of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said in a statement signed by Isichei Osamgbi, deputy director, public relations, that the President Jonathan will also flag off construction works on the proposed NIMASA ship building yard that would also be sited at Okerenkoko.
The NIMASA boss stated that the Nigeria Maritime University, which is expected to commence its first academic session at its temporary site in Kurutie in September, would provide the human capacity required for the maritime sector in addition to serving as a research and knowledge centre for both cadets and other maritime operators. The shipyard, which is expected to build and maintain various sizes of vessels, is also expected to complement the objective of manpower development by providing opportunity for cadets studying Naval Architecture to have practical experience.
â€œThe 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,â€ Akpobolokemi said.
According to him, the establishment of Nigeria Maritime University is in furtherance of the agencyâ€™s effort to building local capacity in the maritime sector and ultimately for the export of manpower.
â€œThe current Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) of NIMASA 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.â€
It would be recalled that the agency has also sponsored Maritime Institutes in four Nigerian universities â€“ 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.
Source: Business Day