NIMASA laments inadequate manpower in maritime sector
Director-General, NIMASA, Mr. Ziakede Akpobolokemi
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Ziakede Akpobolokemi, has said that there is a dearth of qualified manpower in the countryâ€™s maritime industry.
He said this in Asaba, during a courtesy visit by members of NIMASAâ€™s management team and the Governing Council of the Nigeria Maritime University, to the Delta State Governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
A statement by the NIMASAâ€™s Head of Public Relations, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, quoted Akpobolokemi as saying, â€œNIMASA conceived the concept of a maritime university to guarantee sustainable international training of qualified manpower for the maritime industry. The dearth of qualified manpower in the Nigerian maritime sector was the driving force behind the university project.â€
Earlier, Okowa had said that the emphasis being placed on conventional universities in Nigeria at the detriment of specialised universities was largely responsible for the high rate of unemployment in the country.
He said that specialised universities would provide the right tools to equip graduates with the requisite technical abilities needed to create employment after completing their studies.
Okowa said, â€œNigeria should move beyond conventional universities and seek to establish specialised universities, which will give the right tools and practical learning that will make graduates employers of labour rather than job seekers. The high rate of unemployment in Nigeria today is largely due to our focus on conventional education.â€
He commended the management of NIMASA for its vision in establishing the university and urged other agencies of the government to think outside the box, and toe NIMASAâ€™s path.
The Pro Chancellor of the maritime university, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, noted that the university would play a major role in providing adequate capacity to harness the Nigeriaâ€™s maritime potential.
Onwuliri, the immediate past Minister of State for Education, announced that the governing council was consulting with the Nigeria Universities Commission and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board to ensure that academic activities would commence during the next academic session.
The Federal Government recently approved a governing council for the institution, headed by Onwuliri. Prof. Maureen Etebu was also appointed as the vice chancellor while Mr. Anho Lucky was named as the registrar.
The maritime university at Okerenkoko, Delta State, is considered as part of the solutions to the dearth of seafarers in the country.
NIMASA has also sponsored over 2,500 young Nigerians for training in nautical science, naval architecture and marine engineering in reputable institutions in Egypt, India, Philippines, Romania and the United Kingdom under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme.
The agency has also established institutes of maritime studies in six Nigerian universities namely â€“ University of Lagos, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Niger Delta University Amasoma, Bayelsa State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai, Niger State, Anambra State University Uli and the Federal University Kashere, Gombe State.
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