Provost, Charkins Maritime Academy, Dr Eben Okorie, has urged corporate bodies and government institutions to sponsor students for maritime courses to enhance proficiency in the highly lucrative subsector.
Okorie said this on Thursday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during an entrance examination for a proposed two-year basic certificate course in maritime training by the academy and billed for sponsorship by Andoni local government council in Rivers.
The proposed training was in fulfillment of the campaign promise made by Mr Erastus Awortu, the newly inaugurated council chairman for Andoni Local Government Area.
The training, which was open for all indigenes of the area within 17- 23 years of age and who also possessed a minimum of 5 credits in their West African Examination Council (WAEC) result attracted no fewer than 315 candidates.
Recall that the council chairman, while soliciting votes from his constituents prior to his emergence, had promised to enroll 20 students for training to build capacity and make them employable in the maritime sector.
Commending the gesture demonstrated by the council chairman, the Provost of the academy noted that the prospects in the proposed programme would be very rewarding.
“Successful candidates will be eventually trained to become Marchant Navy Officers; they will specialise in Nautical and Marine Engineering with a course duration of a minimum of two years for the basic certificate course.
“After the basic certificate course, eligible candidates are also expected to pursue another intense professional one year training upon completion of a one year internship programme.
“Generally, the Programme will gulp as much as two years duration for the full programme package,” he said.
The Provost, who described the programme as a long term investment and a rewarding human capital development strategy, said the measure was worthy of emulation, especially as the country strives towards conquering unemployment and youth restiveness.
“This is the first time I’m witnessing such a laudable commitment from the political class, I have spent a long time in the industry and I make bold to say that this is the first time I’m seeing a local government chairman take interest in sponsoring students in maritime courses or other courses of benefit,” he added.
Meanwhile, candidates, who wrote the examination have expressed satisfaction with the process, describing it as a transparent academic exercise.
He also commented commended the council chairman for the bold initiative.