Doumbia-Henry commends Nigerian Navy’s GoG security efforts…seeks more women inclusion in training programmes
President of the World Maritime University, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, has commended the Nigerian Navy for its efforts in ensuring maritime domain security, especially in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
Doumbia-Henry who happens to be the first female to occupy that prestigious position in the institution’s almost 40 years of existence, also charged the navy on ensuring more women inclusion in the training programmes, which are at the post-graduate level.
The WMU President stated this on Wednesday in Lagos, while on a courtesy visit to the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral YB Wambai.
Speaking, Doumbia-Henry remarked that she would like to see personnel of the navy come for different programmes at the university.
“We are aware as well of the Nigerian Navy’s efforts in terms of continuing to combat piracy, other maritime criminality not only in Nigeria, but across the entire Gulf of Guinea. We look forward to you sending more of your staff to the WMU.
“The Nigerian Navy has always considered it important, sending personnel for training. But what I want to see them do is to grow the numbers, have much more.
“So, these young ones should be trained. Not only would they be in the navy, but they would get more specialised training. The FOC would ensure that there are more women included in our programmes and to enable us to choose every year, probably, one man and one woman, if possible.
“I really want to see more women in the maritime, in the ocean industries, especially with the Coast Guard, with all the responsibilities you have for the oceans, we need those people and we hope that with you our oceans continue to serve us,” she said.
Dr. Doumbia-Henry gave a bit of history that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) established the World Maritime University with a primary aim of building human capacity with knowledge to grow and develop the maritime industry globally, but with significant input from the developing countries.
“The WMU was established by the International Maritime Organisation with a concern that the maritime world was actually in the developed world but not in the developing world.
“So, what was extremely important was the creation of the World Maritime University to be able to educate at the highest level, not undergraduate programme, within the framework of a post-graduate programme, Masters and Ph.D. programmes, to enable developing countries to move forward in the maritime discipline.”
The WMU President expressed confidence that the institution is better empowered with donors ready to support training of prospective students from developing countries, who would return to develop the industry back in their home countries.
Her words: “We have now built a good portfolio of donors, which enables us to choose the best and the brightest of the lot, coming from the developing world. It would enable them build the expertise and to get the post-graduate degrees and go back to their country to help build the industry; whether it is the maritime industry, whether it is the navy or if it is teachers that we are trying to train.”
Speaking, the FOC Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral YB Wambai, restated the navy’s commitment to human capacity development, which makes the navy send its operatives on programmes even at the WMU.
“Nigerian Navy leveraging the essence of the World Maritime University, which is to build capacity in the maritime world for developing countries, has tried to send officers to that institution, and we would continue to do that with male and female officers.
“We will try to send them to go in and get the expertise needed and be able to come back and bring their experience to bear back here.”
Appreciating the WMU President for vising the Command, Admiral Wambai said that the tentative approval for sponsorship extended to the navy that an officer would be sponsored alongside each one that is paid for, would encourage sending more officers to be trained at the university.
He said: “On behalf of the Nigerian Navy, we thank the President for this visit and for the tentative approval for sponsorship or funding of one officer for every one that we send to the school.
“It means that we are going to have a critical mass of officers before too long, that would have been trained in that unique and world-class institution. By and large, the effects have been well felt in the navy, of those people who are alumni of the institution and the Nigerian Navy will continue to key into that.”
Visiting with Dr. Doumbia-Henry were Max Mejia, Professor and head of PhD program, WMU, Khanssa Lagdami, Assistant Professor, WMU, Emmanuel Maiguwa, and Kuraye Ismaila.