Director of Medical Services, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Abubakar Yusuf and the Chief Medical Director of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Prof. Thomas Agan during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on training last week in Calabar.
Vice Chancellor of the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, Prof. (Mrs.) Maureen Ongoebi Etebu, has said that the nation would benefit immensely from the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State.
According to Professor Etebu, there would be more jobs for Nigerian professionals in the maritime industry, and it would also save the nation foreign exchange.
The Vice Chancellor disclosed this recently during a tour of the institution’s teaching facilities and infrastructure at the take-off campus, even as she attributed the progress of work in the university to President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the region.
Highlighting the benefits the nation is poised to gain from having the institution, Etebu further 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 affirmed that the standard of training in the institution was at par with international best standards, negating the need to further send students abroad to obtain such training.
She stated the university had registered with the International Maritime Organisation, a body that upholds the highest standard of maritime practice and training in the world. She further affirmed that the university, which is working in collaboration with the Caribbean Maritime University, has brought peace to the Niger Delta region.
She said: ‘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 IMO (International Maritime Organisation). ‘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,’’ she said.
The VC, who was in the company of staff members, also affirmed that graduates of the university would soon bridge the gap of local skilled content in the maritime industry. She noted that such development would equally save the nation foreign exchange spent on the wages of skilled expatriate workers. ” 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.”
She said, “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.” In November 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari approved an increase in the take-off grant allocated to the University from the N2bn earlier announced to N5bn. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November 2017. Similarly, an additional N1B was approved by the President to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University in November 2017.
The Delta State government has also donated two 500KVA generators to the University. According to the VC, at least 300 undergraduates wrote the first and second semester exams in 2018. As at January 27, the University has so far pre-screened 476 new students who have commenced academic activities for the 2018/2019 session. Of this number, the faculty of Engineering had the highest number of pre-screened students comprising 280 students. It would be recalled that the University was granted approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.
The NUC approved that academic activities commence in three faculties namely; Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management. The Faculty of Transport has four departments, namely: Nautical Science, Transport Logistics Management, Marine Economics and Finance, and Port Management. The Faculty of Engineering has five departments – Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering.