President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially performed the dedicatory ceremony of a modern State of the John G. Bestman Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) in Marshall City Lower Margibi.
An Executive Mansion release said, Mrs. Sirleaf described the moment as the day we have all been waiting for. She thanked members of the 53rd National Legislature for renegotiating the Concession Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and the Liberia International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR) in 2015.
She paid tribute to the partnership with LISCR, which according to her has translated into the transformation of a modern Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI). President Sirleaf also recognized the significant contributions of Mr. Gerald Cooper, Beyan Cooper and Mrs. Leonard Dennis – who particularly served the Maritime dutifully for 43 years. She acknowledged that Mrs. Leonard Dennis remained committed and devoted in spite of some of the most difficult moments the Bureau of Maritime faced.
President Sirleaf thanked stakeholders of the Liberia Maritime Authority and Liberia Maritime Training Institute for putting in place a rigorous recruiting process, which gave way to the meticulous recruitment of 20 males and 4 females. She expressed delight in light of the professional content that would characterize the recruits upon their two-year training process. She pointed out that the inclusive selection from Liberia’s 15 countries is a demonstration of national participation.
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Liberian leader, she then performed the unveiling of the plaque in honor of former Finance Minister and Governor of what was formerly the National Bank of Liberia, named and styled the John G. Bestman Maritime Training Institute. In brief reference to Hon. John G. Bestman, President Sirleaf said: (John we owe you; It is honorable to give honor to whom it is due.”
President Sirleaf was later taken on a guided tour of the modernized facility at the John G. Bestman Maritime Training Institute.
Earlier, Mr. Abraham Abi Zaidenberg, Managing Director of the Liberia International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR) AND Chairman of the Liberia Maritime Training Institute welcomed all and sundry to the epoch-making ceremony and noted the individual and collective role of all stakeholders. He recalled LISCR’s involvement in the shipping sector with Liberia some 18 years ago and informed the gathering that amid progress, there has been 30% improvement in cargo shipment to the United States.
In separate remarks, Commissioner James Kollie, Board Chair, Cllr. Juah Lawson, and Senate Committee Chairperson Dallas Gueh of Rivercess lauded President Sirleaf for her hindsight in ensuring the project came to fruition. They acknowledged the significant interventions of the various actors who worked so diligently towards such realization.
It can be recalled that in 2016, the Liberia International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR) based in Virginia, U.S.A. decided to take to take up management of the Liberia Management Training Institute. The first batch of 24 engineering cadets commenced training on August 1, 2017. The LMTI can look ahead to becoming a truly world-class community of excellence.