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President Jonathan Commissions Maritime University, Dockyard

President Goodluck Jonathan will on Saturday, May 10 flag-off Nigeria’s first specialised university for the maritime sector as part of his tour of the facilities of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Isichei Osamgbi, deputy director/head, Public Relations, said that the President will be conducted round the state-of-the-art facilities at the temporary site of Nigeria Maritime University at Kurutie, while also performing the ground-breaking of the permanent site, located at Okerenkoko, both in Warri Southwest Local Government Area of Delta State.

Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi,  DG, NIMASA said that  President Jonathan will similarly perform the ground-breaking of NIMASA Dockyard and Shipyard, also sited at Okerenkoko, which is expected to build and maintain various sizes of vessels.

The President will be hosted to a grand reception by the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the people of Niger Delta in Oporoza, Warri South West Local Government Area, Delta State.

After conducting Senator Idris Umar, minister of Transport, round the facilities at the weekend, the NIMASA Director-General stated that the Nigeria Maritime University, which is expected to commence academic activities at the 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. “The Shipyard facility will similarly compliment this objective,” he further said.

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 where the NIMASA Dockyard and Shipyard as well as the permanent site of the university is located.

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, Mr Akpobolokemi said.

The establishment of Nigeria Maritime University is in furtherance of NIMASA’s passion for building local capacity in the maritime sector and ultimately for the export of manpower. Its Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) 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.

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 Director-General said that 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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