The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has revitalized its Dockyard Training School in Lagos today with Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko also clocking 100 days as substantive Managing Director of the Authority.
At the commissioning of the Dockyard Training School, the NPA Managing Director expressed optimism that the training facility Nigeria will be able to train pilots and other staff of the Authority, sister agencies’ employees, as well as terminal operators staff.
Bello-Koko also noted that plans have been initiated to partner the World Maritime University (WMU), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Navy Hydrography Department, the Nigerian Institute of Marine and Oceanography Research, the University of Lagos and other research and learning institutions in the area of curriculum development and capacity building.
The NPA boss stressed that the commissioning of the Dockyard Training School is a testament of the agency’s resolve to institute continuous learning as a culture in the agency and improve the human capacity of operators in the nation’s maritime sector.
His words: “As most of us are aware, having in place a robust talent pool is a necessary precondition for operating efficiently in the fiercely competitive terrain of port business. Consistently up-scaling the human capital of employees on whom we place a very high premium is our overriding objective as a management team, and our readiness to position them to be best in class, is at the core of what this training school sets to achieve”
“This complex has the capacity of training 380 persons per time as it consists of a lecture theatre with seating capacity of 73 persons, a large hall with seat capacity of 112; a mini hall with seat capacity of 50 people; another with 27 and six simulation classrooms that seats 16 persons each, including a fully automated library with seating capacity for 120 persons and a hostel with 30-bed capacity.”
Noting that the training school was jettisoned in the past, the NPA boss assured that his administration would work assiduously to ensure judicious utilization of the learning center.
“The decision to invest so much in this facility took cognizance of our former employees, some of whom although retired are actually not tired. We intend to tap into their wealth of experience and institutional knowledge by inviting them as resource persons to train upcoming employees. These training will significantly help to insulate us and our stakeholders from the grave risk of talent deficit,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe expressed delight at the commissioning even as he stressed that training brings about development, exposure and enlightenment required for growth in the maritime sector.
Prof. Ogundipe described the project as a strategic one that would save Nigeria funds that would have been expended training maritime practitioners abroad.
He, however, assured that UNILAG is willing to collaborate with NPA to provide Diploma or Master’s programmes to harness the best from the training school.
On his part, the Founder of Centre for Value in Leadership, Prof. Patrick Utomi stressed that Nigeria’s most important need is knowledge and commended NPA for paying attention to this need.
“If the nation’s blue economy were to rise to its potentials, the unemployment ratio will be close to zero, but this can’t be achieved without requisite training which this NPA Dockyard Training School provides,” Prof. Utomi said.
Noting that NPA prides itself as the gateway to the country, Utomi charged the Authority to utilize the training school as a platform to be an actual gateway to boost the nation’s economy.
Other maritime bigwigs at the commissioning were; the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh; Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup; Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu; among others who gave goodwill messages at the event.