All is now set for the start of the Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) initiated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in September this year, the Director General of the agency, Mr. Ziakede Akpobolokemi, has said.
An initiative of Akpobolokemi, IMS, which is meant to boost manpower capacity in the maritime sector of the economy, is in selected universities across the country.
The universities are Niger Delta University (NDU), Amasoma, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the IBB University Lapai, Niger State.
Akpobolokemi dropped the hint when he hosted the Vice Chancellors of the four institutions at Maritime House, the corporate headquarters of the agency in Lagos.
He revealed that a consultant has been appointed to work closely with the authorities of the selected varsities to assist them in setting up the academic curriculum of the proposed maritime institutes.
He noted that government business is a time-bound business and that there is a need to fast track the project, so that the institutions can start its first session later this year as September/October is the expected date of commencement of academic programmes in the various institutions.
According to the NIMASA helmsman, who was a lecturer at NDU before his appointment over two years ago, there is a need to develop the Nigerian maritime sector through manpower and capacity building for the youths so that the untapped resources in the sector can be properly harnessed.
“If things are not properly put in place, the Philippines will dominate the maritime sector of our economy”, he added.
He stated that grants would be given to the various universities to commence work and also advised that the programmes could commence at temporary sites, while the main construction is ongoing.
Professor Babajide Alo, who represented the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, expressed the readiness of UNILAG to commence the programmes and that the school authority has obtained necessary approvals from its Senate and Governing Council, while awaiting the agency’s go ahead to proceed to site.
Alo revealed that a curriculum programme is being worked upon and that UNILAG plans to run courses relating to seafaring that will lead to a Certificate of Competence (COC) which would be recognised worldwide.