More Nigerians would be having opportunities to play significant role in the maritime sector, with the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, providing quality trainings to buoy the skill of Nigerian youths in shipping.
The Vice Chancellor of the Nigeria Maritime University, Prof. (Mrs.) Maureen Ongoebi Etebu, who disclosed this during a tour of the institution’s teaching facilities and infrastructure at the take-off campus, said it would also save the nation foreign exchange.
She affirmed that the standard of training in the institution is at par with international best standards, therefore negating the need to further send students abroad to obtain such trainings.
According to her, the university had registered with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a body that upholds the highest standard of maritime practice and training in the world.She stressed that the university, which is working in collaboration with the Caribbean Maritime University, has brought peace to the Niger Delta region.
“We can now do local training and not send our citizens out of the country, because we have set standards that can compete with anywhere in the world; and through NIMASA, we are registered with IMO (International Maritime Organisation). “When you train cadets here in Nigeria, you give them the exposure they can get abroad. Right now, we are collaborating with Caribbean Maritime University, and we are also making arrangement with the World Maritime University in Sweden. We will be producing highly rated cadets without spending any dollars or pounds, which will save our nation a great deal of foreign exchange,” she said.
She applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his trail-blazing role in the development of the university.The VC, who was in the company of staff members, also affirmed that graduates of the university would soon bridge the gap of local skilled content in the maritime industry. She noted that such development would equally save the nation foreign exchange spent on the wages of skilled expatriate workers.
“When you go to ships you hardly find Nigerians, but in another two years this would be rectified as we should have graduated our first batch from the department of transport and logistics management and environmental management. And in another three years we will be producing marine engineers that can help man this area where we lack man powers.”
In November 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari approved an increase in the take-off grant allocated to the University from the N2 billion earlier announced to N5 billion. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November 2017.
Similarly, an additional N1 billion was approved by the President to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University in November 2017. The Delta State government has also donated two 500KVA generators to the University.
These grants have in no small measure aided the take-off of the institution, which arguably boasts world-class teaching facilities which include: state of the art lecture rooms kitted with projectors and air conditioners, school laboratories, Olympic size swimming pool, library, ICT centre, event hall, cafeteria, hostels, a health centre that also serves neighbouring communities, amongst others.It would be recalled that the Maritime University commenced full academic activities in April 2018, when its first batch resumed lectures for the 2017/2018 session.