A curriculum consultant to the Maritime University of Nigeria (MUN) Okerenkoko, Charles Okorefe, has said the curriculum developed for the institution was tailored towards what obtained in any serious maritime universities or institutions across the world.
Okorefe recently said the curriculum was developed to produce qualified seafarers.
He said, “Nigeria is looking seriously in the area of developing seafarers, where Nigeria has a huge gap. If you take the example of the Philippines, they have developed seafaring into an industry. They carved a niche area whereby about $6 billion is repatriated annually by their seafarers into the national economy.
“What is the percentage of Philippines population? And we have more able- bodied youth, which is more than that number of their population put together. We are looking at how to develop a crop of young Nigerians who will participate as seafarers both in cabotage operations and onboard foreign ships.”
He said the curriculum was also developed to look at development in areas such as Naval Architecture, ship building and construction, navigation, marine engineering.
According to him, a crop of young Nigerians will be developed to create a workforce in the industry and give character to Nigeria maritime industry in years to come.
The university, he said, is sited in such a unique environment and “we are trying to take advantage of the peculiar environment of the Niger Delta into focus, also as part of our studies in the mangrove areas, rivers that empty into the oceans, that will be a very good area of study, especially in areas of marine technology, water resources etc.”
He further said that his team had visited Liverpool John Moore University in the United Kingdom (UK) to see how they could work together with them in some of the critical areas where they have expertise.
“They have agreed to partner with us especially in the area of sea training. That is a major drawback to our institutions here, especially MAN, Oron.
Sea time for students has to be keyed into their programmes, so by the time they are graduating, they are already set to work.”