Osinbajo Relishes Caribbean Maritime Varsity Partnership With UNILAG, Maritime University 

Comptroller General, Customs; Col Hameed Alli( rtd )  with Mr Kateshumbwa Dicksons, Commissioner for Customs, Uganda Revenue Authority ( L)  at a lecture on “Leadership Questions and Modernisation in Customs Management’’ delivered by Mr Kateshumbwa Dicksons at the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, FCT last week. 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has said that   the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) in Jamaica, academic partnership with University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko, Delta will be mutually beneficial to both countries.

A statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, in Abuja, quoted Osinbajo as saying “the partnership would boost human capital development in both countries’’.

Osinbajo expressed this view at a meeting with representatives of the three universities CMU, UNILAG and NMU on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The CMU’s delegation was led by its President, Prof. Fritz Pinnock, Prof. Maureen Etebu, Vice Chancellor, NMU led the institution’s delegation, while UNILAG’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe led the school’s delegation.

“The Maritime University is an important part of our journey of developing the Niger Delta, as it would tackle restiveness among youths by providing them with education and training, and so benefit them.

“So, the Maritime University is a win-win for Niger Delta and Nigeria.

“Our relationship with Jamaica is a very important one for us and we must continue to explore the very many areas of collaboration to benefit us all.

“We are truly grateful for the hand of fellowship extended to us,” he said.

Meanwhile in an interview with State House correspondents, Pinnock said that CMU would partner with UNILAG and NMU in the areas of robotics, and artificial intelligence, among others.

He said that the collaboration would be mutually beneficial to both countries.

Pinnock said that CMU had the experience, accreditation and global certification which would be leveraged by both universities.

According to him, the collaborations are about strengthening the human capital that exists in Nigeria and bringing up new programmes.

“So, this is the mission, this is the mandate, and we are excited today because we got the support of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, signing today with your vice president who is forward thinking and I think it is an amazing time.

“Both universities are doing great. They are doing a fantastic job, when I visited the NMU after seven months, I could not believe what was there.

“We were truly impressed with the level of development, the interest, what we saw was the passion of the students.

“It is about bringing global certification, it took us 28 years to get to where we are and you have to work smart and not harder. CMU is also a centre for innovation, for excellence in advanced engineering.

“We are also bringing artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics and all of these new types of engineering skills. We have them and this is what we are bringing about collaborations,’’ he said.

He said he believed that the collaboration would open up new opportunities as there was a global shortage of seafarers in the world presently.

Pinnock said that he would like to see Nigerians as captains, chief engineers, commanding ships and taking up the top jobs instead of being ordinary seafarers.

On his part,  Ogundipe said that the collaboration was about manpower development as CMU, which he had visited, had all the facilities needed in the said areas.

He said that the institution had started post-graduate programmes in Maritime Studies and Logistics but was working toward being globally competitive.

“We want to gain from their own strength so that we will be able to meet international requirements for all the programmes,’’ Ogundipe said.

Also, Etebu, said that students from CMU recently visited NMU, adding that it was a very glorious time for students and staff of NMU.

She said that the institution had been able to establish links and would have collaborations in terms of linkages and exchange of students.

“The benefits of their visits have become apparent in that CMU had offered scholarships to two of our students.

“We know that we are going to draw strength in terms of experience and academic exposure from the CMU,’’ she said.

Also at the meeting was the acting High Commissioner of Jamaica in Abuja, Mr John Clarke, and a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, who is the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of the Governing Council of NMU.