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GeneralLiberia news

Maritime wants LMTI upgraded to university level

The Liberia Maritime Program is regarded for its consistent excellence and innovation in service delivery in the global maritime industry.

By Lewis S. Teh

Monrovia, May 22, 2024: Liberia Maritime Authority (LIMA) Commissioner Cllr. Neto Zarzar Lighe has stressed the need to enhance the maritime program to a university level to be competitive in the global maritime industry.

At the third graduation ceremony of the Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) in Marshall, Margibi County, Commissioner Lighe said the greater vision is to upscale the LMTI to a full-fledged university that will provide all marine disciplines at bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.

The Liberia Maritime Program is regarded for its consistent excellence and innovation in service delivery in the global maritime industry.

Commissioner Lighe stated that this feat would require investing in continuous training of a highly skilled workforce inclined to discipline and innovation and able to foster strong networks in the working environment.

“It is thus critically important that we take deliberate steps aimed at making the needed investment in improving the infrastructure of our maritime training program,” said Commissioner Lighe.

He noted that a strong maritime infrastructure plays a critical role in effective training for future seafarers.

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The commissioner bemoaned the low number of females enrolled in the institution and promised to work more diligently to increase the present enrolment statistics of only two females out of the twenty-four cadets who graduated.

This record of low female enrolment has been consistent since the school started putting graduates out. 

Based on the uncompromising desire to continue on the path of excellence, Cllr. Lighe disclosed that he is endeavoring to improve and expand the existing infrastructure of the LMTI.

According to him, LMTI sits at the core of his vision for the maritime sector of Liberia.

According to him, this vision encapsulates expanding the institution’s campus to provide a more realistic training environment. 

He suggested renovating facilities such as the academic building and staff housing quarters.

Also, Cllr. Lighe said the student dormitory requires expansion to cater to the contemplated increase in enrolment at the institution.

The LIMA Boss charged the new LMTI graduates to protect and carry forward the rich heritage of an internationally renowned and reputed maritime program that has been built over the years. 

He averred that the vision for infrastructural improvement at the LMTI aligns with President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s strategic goal of increasing the institution’s enrolment from the current 24 students per training cycle to an appreciable number that reflects Liberia’s readiness to supply the maritime industry with trained professionals on a large scale.

“Liberia’s position as an important player in the global maritime industry demands that we also be a major supplier of trained and professional seafarers to the industry,” said Cllr. Lighe. 

“The current enrolment numbers at the LMTI are a far cry from enabling Liberia to attain the status of being a major supplier of maritime labor.” 

He indicated that increasing the enrolment numbers at the LMTI is a quintessential item for this administration. 

He continued that achieving the objectives of the ARREST agenda hinges on providing massive education opportunities to young Liberians.

He placed particular emphasis on critical sectors like maritime, which offer vast opportunities for job creation, sustainable economic growth, and poverty reduction.

While it is important to train professional seafarers on Liberian soil, he said he is not oblivious that these trained and skilled young people must be provided opportunities to advance themselves or get employed.

 “We are acutely aware that our responsibility does not begin or end with the training of professional workforce for the maritime industry,” he stated.

“Rather, we are also responsible for ensuring that those trained are allowed to either seek further improvement in their professional training by enrolling at institutions like the Regional Maritime University, located in Ghana or other maritime training institutions around the world or to seek employment on vessels straddling the national and international waters.”

 The LMTI has had an enviable record of ensuring the placement of its graduates on board vessels around the world. 

These graduates have, over time, demonstrated exceptional excellence and commitment in their services and are thereby ably representing the flag of Liberia.

“Thanks to LISCR and LMTI Management for the tremendous job and our ardent hope that the institution remains vibrant and prosperous,” Commissioner Lighe stated.

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