By Frank Odinukaeze
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello- Koko,who clocked 100 days in office as the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of NPA, last Wednesday has refurbished the Training School of the Organisation Apapa Dockyard, Lagos.
Speaking at the ceremony, Bello-Koko emphasized the need for training and retraining of personnel for effective and optimal performance.
Bello-Koko said the complex was open for use by anyone desiring the place,but will however pay for the use of the facility
” Let me therefore use this opportunity to recommend this facility for patronage by sister agencies in the maritime sector and industry players who are desirous to have a world class training place for their employees,”he said.
He expressed hope that with the training facility, Nigeria would be able to train pilots and other staff of the authority, sister agencies’ employees, as well as terminal operators members staff.
He disclosed that plans were on to partner with 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.
Bello- Koko sated 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.
“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,” he said
According to the NPA boss, “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.”
He recalled that the training school was “dead” before now but affirmed, that his administration would work tirelessly to ensure that the facility is judiciously managed and utilized
“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.
Speaking to MMSPLUS, Bello-Koko stated that the money usually spent for overseas training of staff will now be ploughed into other use,thereby saving funds for the authority.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe while speaking at event expressed delight at the commissioning and noted that training brings about development, exposure and enlightenment required for growth in the maritime sector.
The UNILAG Vice Chancellor described the project as a strategic one that would save Nigeria funds that would have been expended training maritime practitioners abroad.
Prof. Ogundipe gave assrance, that UNILAG is willing to collaborate with NPA to provide Diploma or Master’s programmes to harness the best from the training school.
Speaking also at the event, the Founder of Centre for Value in Leadership, and Lagos Business School,Prof. Patrick Utomi noted that Nigeria’s most important need is know.