Abuja – Dr Ziakede Akpobolokemi, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), on Thursday, said the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU) planned to generate over six billion dollars as revenue from training and supply of seafarers to international maritime industry.
The NIMASA boss made the disclosure while fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja.
He said that the university, which obtained its licence from the Federal Government on Wednesday, was an initiative of NIMASA.
According to him, the institution plans to train qualified manpower that will guarantee sustainable training for staff of maritime industry at international standard.
Akpobolokemi said “youths moving aimlessly on the streets should come and study.
“After graduation, we will give them necessary sea times experience and the rest of them and expose them anywhere in the world and let them send remittances to government.
“The Philippines earns more than six billion dollars annually from selling seafarers and remittances that come from selling seafarers across the world and we have the population that is useful in characteristics.
“We can do far better than the Philippines.’’
He, therefore, said that the formal approval of the licence for the university would signify a major milestone in NIMASA’s capacity building initiatives because it would guarantee sustainable training of qualified manpower for the maritime industry at international standard.
He added that “following the licence issued by the Federal Government, the university is now set to commence academic activities at its fully developed temporary site in Kurutie in Warri-South West Local Government Area of Delta.
Akpobolokemi said no fewer than 32,600 students had so far benefitted from NIMASA’s Scholarship scheme in the last four years.
He noted that NIMASA’s management remained committed and focused in building human capacity for the Nigerian maritime sector through a stronger Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).
He said the programme was designed to train young Nigerians in various maritime professions at degree level.
He noted that “the NSDP has over 2,500 beneficiaries in academic institutions in Egypt, India, Philippines, Romania and the United Kingdom; a number of whom have since graduated.’’
He explained that NIMASA, under his administration, established Institutes of Maritime Studies in six Nigerian universities, including University of Lagos and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Others are sited at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger; Niger Delta University Amasoma, Bayelsa; Anambra State University Uli and Federal Univerity Kashere, Gombe State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the groundbreaking ceremony of NMU, as well as the NIMASA Shipyard and Dockyard in Okerenkoko, were conducted by President Goodluck Jonathan in May last year.