The Minister of Transportation, Engineer Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, on Saturday, December 10, 2022, performed the official ground-breaking for the UNILAG-NIMASA Institute of Maritime Studies.
The project, according to the Minister, demonstrates President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment towards capacity building and infrastructural development especially across fields of human endeavour as a pathway to overall National development.
Speaking during a ceremony which held in the UNILAG Senate Chamber shortly before proceeding to the project site, Engineer Sambo saluted successive managements of the University of Lagos for building and sustaining an enviable reputation among the comity of ivory towers in Nigeria and beyond.
While assuring of commitment towards a successful completion of the UNILAG Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) Building within record time, the Transportation Minister passed a vote of confidence in the choice of Contractor handling the project and guaranteed that, when completed, it will give the Southwest States more visibility in the promotion and development of capacities in the Maritime industry.
Earlier in her remarks, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, appreciated successive Directors-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) from 2013 till date for sustaining the foresight which gave birth to the Memorandum of Agreement signed in 2013.
Prof. Ogunsola who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, Professor Ayodele Atesnuwa, recalled with excitement, the remarkable contributions of UNILAG to Maritime Studies in Nigeria even before 2013 when the idea to establish the Institute of Maritime Studies was moved by NIMASA. She said the UNILAG-IMS kickstarted its programmes with just 2 courses in 2013 and has increased it to seven (7) as at date in demonstration of commitment towards addressing industry needs.
In the spirit of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of UNILAG, the Vice-Chancellor reiterated commitment towards promoting Industry-Academia collaborations with a view to delivering work-ready graduates.
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”.
In his welcome address, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh said the choice of UNILAG as the base for the Institute of Maritime Studies in the Southwest was informed by the university’s sterling reputation and the fact that majority of all revenues in the Maritime industry is generated in Lagos.
Dr. Jamoh expressed regrets over the delay in the kick-off of the UNILAG-IMS building project and assured that the Building will be delivered in 3 (three) phases and completed within 3 (three) budget cycles.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the formal turning of the sod as performed by the Minister of Transport, Engineer Mu’azu Jaji Sambo flanked by the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh who led other senior staff of the agency to the occasion, as well as principal officers of the University of Lagos led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development Services, Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa who stood in for the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola.
The UNILAG NIMASA Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) Building is sited close to the UNILAG Botanical Garden, it is one of the six sited across each geopolitical zones of the country by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to provide suitable manpower requirements for the contemporary maritime industry, through comprehensive theoretical and practical maritime training.
Below is a pictorial highlight of the ceremony.