Blank NEWS Online can report that while in November 2nd-7th, 2015, the heads of State of the African Union will meet in Lomé to discuss cooperation on issues of maritime security as well as the maritime domain as a factor of economic development for the continent, which has 38 coastal countries, back home in Nigeria, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has described the establishment of Nigeria Maritime University as a good move to improve the maritime industry assuring that his administration would partner in its development.
Senator (Dr) Okowa who linked the level of unemployment among Nigerian graduates to conventional education that has little or nothing to do with acquisition of technical and vocational skills, called for retooling of the education system.
He spoke Friday, June 05, 2015 in Asaba when the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Patrick Akpolokemi; the Pro-Chancellor of Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Prof. (Mrs) Viola Onwuliri; the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. (Mrs) Ongoebi Etebu visited him.
“With the birth of the Maritime University, there will be manpower development in the industry that will bridge the gap locally and export man power to the world,” Senator Okowa said, adding, “we need to ensure that we add technical and vocational skills to our children’s education so that they can compete nationally and internationally, we are so used to conventional tertiary educational system and we need to return to the practical skills for which the polytechnics in particular were established.”
He added, “in Delta State, we will pay emphasis on technical and vocational education where the students will acquire technical skills to enable them survive in the society, we will re-engage our children to believe in themselves and fend for themselves rather than depending on government for everything.”
While commending NIMASA for setting up the university in Delta State, Governor Okowa assured the management of the institution of his administration’s support and partnership and used the occasion to call on the Federal Government to tap the numerous benefits derivable from the waterways.
He particularly called for the dredging of the Escravos bar to enable large vessels to access the sea ports in the state.
Earlier, Dr Akpobolokemi had in his speech congratulated Governor Okowa for successful assumption of duty as Governor and called for the collaboration of the state with Federal Government for the development of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko in the state.
He disclosed that the university was established to bridge the manpower gap in the maritime industry, adding that the University was “a clear departure from the conventional university, it had para-military element.”
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