Jamaican institution partners Nigeria on maritime education
The initiative, which received the support of the Nigerian Government during the visit of a three-man delegation from the CMU, will establish partnerships between three major Nigerian institutions of learning and the Jamaican institution, which is recognised worldwide as one of the leading specialist universities in the Western Hemisphere.
After visiting the new Nigerian Maritime University (NMU) at Okerenkoko, in Delta State, and holding discussions with members of the faculty of the University of Lagos and the Ondo State University of Science and Technology the delegation crafted three separate Memoranda of Understanding two of which were exchanged in the presence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at his office in Aso Villa, Abuja.
The high-powered Jamaican delegation was led by Prof. Fritz Pinnock President of CMU, and included Prof. Ibrahim Ajagunna the Deputy President of the institution, a Nigerian who has lived in Jamaica for more than two decades, and Mr Balfour Peart a businessman who is also a post-graduate doctoral student at CMU. They were hosted by Chief Timipre Sylva former Governor of Bayelsa State, and Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the NMU.
Prof. Pinnock described the initiative arising from the delegation’s visit as an endeavour aimed at overcoming the deficiencies of the past in which African and Caribbean communities were perceived as consumers rather than producers of technological innovation.
He said that CMU had developed the capacity to provide cutting edge tuition and consultancy services over its nearly forty years of existence and it is now determined to share its expertise with the African community by initiating new programmes of South-South cooperation.
The Jamaican Government in partnership with the Norwegian Government established the CMU in 1980 at which time it was known as the Jamaican Maritime Training Institute; and had 30 students.
In 1993 it was renamed the Jamaican Maritime Institute and in 2001 it was renamed the Caribbean Maritime Institute to reflect its growing regional relevance. By that time it had 287 students.
The Norwegians handed over ownership to the Jamaicans thereafter and when it received the second charter for a publicly owned University in Jamaica and was renamed the Caribbean Maritime University on 28th September 2017 it had risen to a complement of 6,000 students called participants and over 900 staff.
Its degrees and qualifications are now recognised and accepted throughout the world and it has been approved for the certification of professional maritime qualifications globally.
The official release from the CMU delegation defines the objectives of the Memoranda of Understanding as follows:
• The MOU with the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU) will allow CMU to assist the NMU in the development and expansion of its Maritime and engineering curricula, the development of faculty and student exchange amongst others.
• The MOU signed with the University of Lagos (UNILAG) – Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe Vice Chancellor, Professor Ogunsola, and Deputy Vice Chancellor.
Through this MOU CMU will assist UNILAG to expand its Maritime and engineering programmes. It will facilitate joint research and publications, student and faculty exchanges among others.
• The MOU with Ondo State University of Science and Technology – was signed between Vice Chancellor Ogunduyile and Professors Fritz Pinnock and Ibrahim Ajagunna, President and Deputy of CMU respectively.
This MOU will facilitate the expansion of Maritime, engineering and logistics programmes. Faculty and student exchanges for Joint research and publication.
These MOU’s will strengthen the relationship between Jamaica and Nigeria and South – South cooperation.”
The Acting High Commissioner for Jamaica in Nigeria Mr. John Clarke was present at the exchange of MOU’s between UNILAG, NMU, and the CMU in the Vice President’s office.
He also hosted a dinner for the delegation and Chief Timipre Sylva at his residence and witnessed the signing of the MOU between UNILAG and CMU in the Chancery of the Jamaican High Commission in Abuja.