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Ellen dedicates maritime training facility

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President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has dedicated a maritime training institute facility in Marshall City, Margibi County, hailing the management of the maritime program here as a major accomplishment.

Performing the dedicatory exercise on Friday, 5 January at the Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) in Marshall, President Sirleaf said because Liberia had already established its efficiency in the management of the maritime program, it encouraged many ship owners.

According to President Sirleaf, many ship owners were encouraged [and] they established from the operation of the Institute that in order to leave the commitment to “us”, they will begin to train Liberians who will then be employed on [vessels] that are registered under the Liberian flag.

The President says the Institute is made possible because of the agreement reached in 2015 with Liberia International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR), Liberia’s agent that runs maritime program in conjunction with the boards and the commissioners of the Maritime Authority.

Mrs. Sirleaf says “This for us” is a major [one] and a major accomplishment, thanking Mr. Abraham Avi Zaidenberg, Managing Director of LISCR in Monrovia and Chairman of the Board of Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) and all of those who have worked to make the maritime program to reach this day.

She hails the training of 24 maritime recruits comprising of four females and 20 males that have started a two – year program, saying she understands they went through a rigorous program for their selection to ensure that they have the right background for academic training.

President Sirleaf says “this day we’ve been waiting for” a long time, recalling how she has told the Legislature in several Annual Messages that she was hoping to see a day where the Liberia Maritime Training Institute would be reactivated, functional and train the young people.

Mrs. Sirleaf thanks all of those who are part of it, saying she is glad that Gerald Cooper and Benyan Kesselly were mentioned and further expresses gratitude to Mrs. Leona Dennis who served the entity for 43 years during difficult times before just being retired.

She also expresses gratitude to Legislature for the role in getting the amended agreement between Liberia and LISCR passed. Maritime Commissioner Mr. James F. Kollie had earlier extended thanks to President Sirleaf for her leadership, and also thanked partners for their roles.

Mr. Kollie says when he took over at Maritime; he ensured that the entity recruited the right kind of students with the right attitude given that the training available for them was not only about offering employable skills, but to server as a basis for developing a career.

By Winston W. Parley

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