By Gabriel Chy Alonta with Agency reports
The management of the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenghigho, Delta State, has said that commencement of the academic activities at the institution would create more job opportunities for Nigerian professionals in the maritime industry.
Speaking to newsmen during a tour of the university, its vice chancellor, Prof. Maureen Ongoebi, said the institution had impressive teaching facilities and infrastructure at the take-off campus and commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the institution.
The vice chancellor said the institution would save the nation a great deal of foreign exchange it hitherto spent on training Nigerians in maritime sector in other countries.
She said that the standard of training in the institution was at par with international standards, negating the need to further send students abroad to obtain such training.
She said that the university had registered with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a body that upholds the highest standard of maritime practice and training in the world, adding that it was working in collaboration with the Caribbean Maritime University.
“We can now do local training and not send our citizens out of the country, because we have set standards that can compete with anywhere in the world; and through Nimasa we are registered with International Maritime Organisation, IMO.
“When you train cadets here in Nigeria you give them the exposure they can get abroad. Right now, we are collaborating with Caribbean Maritime University and we are also making arrangement with the World Maritime University in Sweden. We will be producing high rate cadet without spending any dollars or pounds which will save our nation a great deal of foreign exchange.
“When you go to ships you hardly find Nigerians, but in another two years this would be rectified as we should have graduated our first batch from the department of transport and logistics management and environmental management. And in another three years we will be producing marine engineers that can help man this area where we lack man powers.
“The federal government has been magnanimous to us. We are grateful to the federal government for its support, without which, the maritime university would not have taken off.
“Indeed, we have been able to start only because the Federal Government energised the process and release funds to the Maritime University. Recall that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo even visited here (Niger Delta) and we are grateful. You can see what we are doing with the funds that were released to us. And since the university started, there has been peace in the Niger Delta region”, she stated.