By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Honorable Minister Of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has officially laid the foundation for the UniLag- NIMASA Institute of Maritime Studies(IMS).
The event took place on Saturday, 10th December, 2022 at the Senate Chambers of the University of Lagos, UNILAG.
In his keynote address, the minister expressed gratitude to the successive managements of the University of Lagos for the sustainance of the institution’s enviable reputation, describing the university as a National pride.
He also stated that he had a nostalgia as he had always nursed the ambition of adding university of Lagos degree to his curriculum Vitae, having failed on two occasions trying to get post graduate certificates and an MBA but said he is comfortable that it would now be on record that he laid the foundation stone of the NIMASA Institute of Maritime Studies in the University which he said would serve more than a certificate for him.
The Honourable Minister assure total commitment towards speedy completion of the building, expressing confidence in the choice of the Contractor handling the project, adding that he trusted the thoroughness of the NIMASA DG.
Engr. Sambo commended the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration saying that the project demonstrated his commitment towards capacity building and infrastructure development.
He guaranteed that when completed, the institute would give new impetus to the development of capacities in the Maritime Industry especially in the Southwest States.
Speaking in his keynote address, the Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said in 2014 when the University of Lagos was selected, land was provided to commence the building of the institute but the land was later discovered to be marshy and the project was halted.
“When l assumed office in 2020, l began to study the project again for the chosen Universities and unfortunately because of the non existence of the budgetary provision, we were unable to continue with the project in the Southwest”.
“In 2021, l took the budget to the National Assembly and obtained approval to commence the building of the UniLag Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) to be satisfied that we have done justice to all the six geo-politcal zones and to ensure the spread of professional Maritime Students all over the country so that one area would not drag us behind.”
According to Jamoh, ” l was seriously disturbed when l looked at the revenue generated by the Agency of which 70% is coming from Lagos State, still, the building of the Institute of Maritime Studies( IMS) that is supposed to be completed and in use in Lagos State and by extension in the South West before now is not in place.
Today, l am happy to be here with the Hon. Minister for the foundation laying. The building houses among others, ICT Laboratory, Computer Room, Cyber Media Room, Lecture theater, Lecture rooms, Lecture Board, , Lecture Offices etc.
The project is divided into three phases, and the contractor has been given till 90 days to commence and finish the 1st phase while the 2nd and 3rd phases will continue subsequently.
We want to ensure that the project is completed within the budget circle of two years, we have 2021 and 2022 provision and within the specified period, we shall have a full blown Institute of Maritime Studies in University of Lagos and by extension in the Southwest geopolitical zone.
In her remarks earlier, the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, ably represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services, Prof. Victoria Ayodele Atsenuwa, appreciated successive Director’s General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) from 2013 till date for sustaining the foresight that birthed the Memorandum of Agreement signed in 2013, and for spearing their time to come personally for the foundation laying.
Professor Ogunsola recalled with happiness, the immense contributions of UniLag to Maritime Studies in Nigeria even before 2013 when the idea to establish the Institute of Maritime Studies(IMS) was moved by NIMASA.
Ogunsola said that UniLag – IMS commenced its programmes with just 2 courses in 2013 and has added four (4) more courses as at date in its relentlessness towards addressing industry’s academic and professional needs.
She reiterated commitment towards promoting Industry- Academia collaboration with a view to delivering work- ready graduates all in the spirit of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of University of Lagos.
In her words, ” we are also poised to lend ourselves to ensuring that Nigeria contributes and also gains optimally from the opportunities which the 21st century knowledge economy provides”.
Highlight of the event was the formal turning of the SOD by the Minister of Transport, Engineer Mu’azu Jaji Sambo who was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene N.Ajani, Dr. Bashir Jamoh and some other senior staff.
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