Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi yesterday said Nigeria would soon begin to export seafarers to other countries.
Akpobolokemi spoke with journalists in Abuja a day after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) granted approval for the operation of the Nigerian Maritime University.
He said the first full-fledged maritime university in West Africa was an initiative of NIMASA.
He explained that with the coming on board of the institution, Nigeria would be saving foreign exchange hitherto being used in training seafarers abroad.
He also said seafarers trained in the university would be exported to other countries.
Akpobolokemi said with its permanent site in Okerenkoko, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, the university is expected to run courses in Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture, Nautical Science, Transport Technology and other maritime related fields at degree and sub-degree levels.
“This formal approval of the licence will signify a major milestone in the agency’s capacity building initiatives as it will guarantee sustainable training of qualified manpower for the maritime industry at international standard,” he said.
He added that following the licence issued by the Federal Government, the university was set to commence academic activities at its fully developed temporary site in Kurutie, also in Warri-South West Local Government Area.
He recalled that the groundbreaking of the institution, as well as the NIMASA Shipyard and Dockyard in Okerenkoko, was conducted by President Goodluck Jonathan in May 2014.
He said his agency had remained committed and focused in building human capacity for the Nigerian maritime sector through strengthening the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), a scholarship programme designed to train young Nigerians in various maritime professions at degree level.
He said the NSDP has over 2,500 beneficiaries in academic institutions in Egypt, India, Philippines, Romania and the United Kingdom; a number of whom have since graduated.
He further disclosed that his administration had also established Institutes of Maritime Studies in six Nigerian universities, including University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai Niger State, Niger Delta University Amasoma, Bayelsa State, Anambra State University, Uli and Federal Univerity Kashere, Gombe State.
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