The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, recently said that the dearth of adequate human capacity in the maritime sector informed the agency’s establishment of the Nigerian Maritime Academy, Okenrenkoko Delta State.
The DG stated this at the ground- breaking ceremony of the first maritime university in Nigeria.
Akpobolokemi said that inadequate maritime training institutions in Nigeria, was a major reason that influenced the decision of the National Assembly to endorse the recommendation by NIMASA to establish a maritime university.
He disclosed that the establishment of the university was to further the agency’s passion to build local capacity in the maritime sector, as well as to export manpower, a capacity development initiative to help quicken the pace for the development of human capacity that would take over the cabotage trade in the nearest future.
After conducting the President round the facilities, the NIMASA Director-General said the university would commence academic activities at the temporary site in Kurutie in September.
He said that the institution would provide the human capacity required for the maritime sector, in addition to serving as a research and knowledge centre for Nigerians and those who are interested in the acquisition of maritime knowledge globally.
President Goodluck Jonathan commended NIMASA and the Ministry of Transport 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 are located alongside the permanent site of the university.
The President assured Nigerians and investors of the continued peaceful atmosphere currently experienced in the Niger Delta region, adding that the dearth of human capacity in the maritime sector occasioned by inadequate maritime training institutions in the country would become a thing of the past.
President Jonathan also noted that his administration took the maritime trade seriously because it is global and lucrative and serves as good grounds for youth empowerment and enrichment of the country.