The Nigerian Maritime Academy in Oron says 250 students will be sponsored on a one year on-board sea training outside the shores of Nigeria.
The Rector of the Academy, Joshua Okpo, disclosed this on Friday in Oron during an interactive session with newsmen.
He said that the programme would be fallout of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Turkish Government.
Mr. Okpo said that 100 of the second year National Diploma students from Nautical Science Department would be part of the sea-time experience trip.
He said that another 150 students from the Marine Engineering Department would complete the list.
“The students need such training outside the country to better prepare them for actual maritime job.
“They will be going round various countries of the world in a ship that has been prepared for them for a period of one year before touching ground.
“Arrangements have been made for officials and other stakeholders in the marine industry to visit the students at a certain location to know how they are faring with the sea-time experience.” Mr. Okpo said.
Mr. Okpo said that plans were also on ground to properly position the institution for a degree-awarding status.
He, however, said that few technical issues still needed to be sorted out.
The rector said that his administration had taken positive steps to sanitize the institution from questionable activities. He said the recent six-month suspension order clamped on some lecturers was an eye opener.
The rector said that the lecturers were involved in aiding examination malpractice and certificate racketeering.
Mr. Okpo expressed regret that some students who were expelled from other universities due to certain social vices found their way into the academy.
“This institution is a national asset and if not groomed into maturity, it might die both physically and academically; that is why we will not tolerate any negative influence around here.
“I will not allow this school to drift; this school must succeed because Nigerians needs it,” he said.
Mr. Okpo thanked the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, for supporting the academy in its drive to become a degree awarding institution.
He expressed optimism that the memorandum of understanding for converting the school would be signed in April. (NAN)
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