12 June 2015, Asaba – Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has appealed to Nigerians to support the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), situated at Okerenkoko, Warri South Local Government Area.
Describing the NMU as veritable instrument for human capacity development, particularly in the maritime industry, Okowa said the establishment of the school was a step in the right direction. The governor stated this in the state capital, Asaba while receiving the management of NMU, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NMIASA) and the Governing Council of NMU.
The governor stated that the specialised universities would provide the right tools to equip graduates with requisite technical abilities that would make them create employment after completing their studies. He argued that the predominance of conventional universities in Nigeria to the detriment of specialized universities is largely responsible for the current unemployment challenge confronting the Nigerian economy.
“Nigeria should move beyond conventional universities and seek to establish specialized universities which will give the right tools and practical learning that will make graduates employers of labour, rather than job seekers. The unemployment in Nigeria today is largely due to our focus on conventional education,” Okowa said.
While commending the management of NIMASA for the vision in establishing NMU, the governor urged other agencies of government to think outside the box and toe the line of NIMASA.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi noted that the agency conceived the university concept to guarantee sustainable international training of qualified manpower for the maritime industry.
According to the NIMASA helmsman, the dearth of qualified manpower in the Nigerian maritime sector was the driving force behind the university project.
On her part, the Pro Chancellor, of the university, Professor ( Mrs.) Viola Onwuliri, noted that NMU would play a major role in effectively growing adequate capacity to harness the Nigerian maritime potentials.
Onwuliri, who is the immediate past Minister of State for Education, announced that the Governing Council was consulting with the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), to ensure that academic activities commence during the next academic session.
The federal government recently approved a Governing Council for NMU, headed by Onwuliri. While Professor (Mrs.) Maureen Etebu was also appointed as Vice Chancellor, Mr. Anho Nathaniel Lucky was named the Registrar.
THISDAY had reported that NMU is considered a long term solution to the dearth of seafarers which has seen NIMASA sponsor over 2,500 young Nigerians for training in Nautical Science, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at degree level in reputable institutions in Egypt, India, Philippines, Romania and the United Kingdom under the aegis of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP)
NIMASA had also established Institutes of Maritime Studies (IMS) in six Nigerian universities. They are the 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.
– This Day