The Chief Servant of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has commended the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its efforts in building human capacity for the Nigerian maritime industry.
The Governor stated this when the Director General/CEO of NIMASA, Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi led the Executive Management, Management and some staff of the Agency on a courtesy visit to the Government House Minna.
The Chief servant expressed the profound appreciation of the government and people of Niger state over the decision of the Agency to establish an Institute of Maritime Studies at the state owned Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai saying this is a sure way of correcting the dearth of seafarers globally.
“The world is in short supply of seafarers by about 50%. To build human capacity in this area locally, we must empower our institutions to contribute to the training of seafarers. I want to assure NIMASA that we would do all that is necessary to support this Institute. Even though you have said NIMASA would sponsor the establishment of this Institute 100%, as a responsible government, we will not hesitate to commit resources to this project if need be”.
Governor Babangida who has acquired vast experience of the maritime sector over the years during his appointment as the Director of Maritime Services in the Federal Ministry of Transport and later as its Permanent Secretary observed that the DG of NIMASA has proved everybody wrong by galvanizing thoughts with a clear vision of repositioning the maritime sector.
The Governor immediately announced the constitution of a high powered committee led by the Vice Chancellor of IBB University, Professor Ibrahim Adamu Kolo to work with NIMASA to facilitate a smooth take-off of the Institute.
Earlier, the Director General of NIMASA explained to the Chief Servant that the NIMASA team was in the state to express its appreciation to the Government of Niger State for its continuous partnership with the Agency in areas of human capacity development in the maritime sector.
Mr. Akpobolokemi informed the Governor that the Agency has been granted approval to establish an Institute of Maritime Studies in the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai for the purpose of training seafarers for the award of certificates, diplomas, degrees and post graduate certificates.
He said, “we are here to inform you that the national Assembly has approved our proposal to establish an Institute of Maritime Studies at the IBB University Lapai. The Agency will undertake the construction of the institute which will be in line with global standards and fund it until such a time when we feel it is mature enough to stand on its own. Our desire is to attract the best brains to this Institute through adequate funding to make it trully world class”.
The DG therefore appealed to the government of Niger state and the management of the IBB University to provide a suitable site and ensure a peaceful environment for the establishment of the Institute.
In his vote of thanks, the Vice Chancellor of the IBB University who observed that NIMASA was the first agency to partner the university in its strategic plan assured the management of NIMASA that every effort would be made to secure the investment of the agency in the Institute for posterity.
Niger State was one of the first states in the country to key into the Nigerian Seafarers development Programme (NSDP) initiated by NIMASA three years ago with the aim of training young seafarers in the best maritime institutions abroad in the fields of naval architecture, marine engineering, etc.
NIMASA has secured approval to set up Institutes of Maritime Studies in four Nigerian universities viz; Niger Delta University Amasoma, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the IBB University Lapai.
Present at the occasion was Senator Zainab Kure, Chairman, senate committee on Marine Transport, Senator Dahiru Kuta, Chairman, senate committee on Federal Character, members of the Niger State Executive Council and Management of the IBB University, Lapai.