State owes Maritime University GH13.5 million

Accra, The Professor Elvis Nyarko Vice Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University (RMU) has disclosed that Government owes the University about GH13.5 million as a state responsibility fund.

He said although the Government continued to facilitate aspects of the School’s expansion facilities through the GET Fund, the huge indebtedness over the past five years was stalling the expansion of needed facilities.

Prof. Elvis Nyarko stated this during discussions with Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who had paid a working visit to the University.

Prof Nyarko said the RMU, which was established in 1958 as a Nautical College and became a Regional Academy in 1983.

He said it became a University in 2007, and this had called for expansion of the facilities. It is being co-sponsored by Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Liberia and Cameroon.

Prof Nyarko said all the other four countries had been honouring their funding agreement annually; but the Government of Ghana had defaulted.

He explained that Ghana stood a better chance in training more sea farers for the industry globally because most Europeans were no more training their people for the sector.

The onus was on Africa and Asia to take advantage and train the youth as a measure to addressing unemployment.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, in response, said the Government was also very much interested in partnering the RMU to facilitate the training of welders as part of efforts in training students, particularly, girls, and in promoting the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), with a specialty in the areas of Marine Engineering and Transportation.

The Minister said the Government would, therefore, be working in collaboration with all stakeholder Ministries, including the Ministries of Science and Technology, Education, Lands and Forestry, Transportation, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, and Tourism in training students to become useful globally.

He said a report would be sent to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the findings of his visit to the University to enable the President to take a firm decision that would benefit Ghanaian students.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng described the Maritime University, “as a very important facility to the nation that could help Government’s agenda to promote STEM programmes.

“Even though RMU is under Ministry of Transport, we are here because we are promoting the study of Science, Technology and Engineering and Mathematics.

“As we went around, we could see that this is a Technical University that is specialised in Marine Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics, Refrigeration and Welding. Indeed, some Junior High School students can come here and study proper welding so that they can work in merchant ships.

“The University is also training people working in Oil and Gas, and safety measures. We have a lot of things in this country and so if we are able to gather ourselves and focus to put things together, the sky will be our limit.”

He explained that the Government intended to make the teaching of Science, Technology and Mathematics interesting to children all the way from the primary school to the university level to whip-up and sustain their interest in STEM subjects.

The RMU’s mandate is to train personnel for the Maritime, Oil and Gas and ancillary industries to acquire knowledge, excellence and discipline in academic, professional, vocational and research work.

It also runs the International Maritime Organisation’s mandatory and short courses and seminars.

It currently has 90 per cent of its students as Ghanaians. The 10 other per cent are from the four other partner countries, with 95 per cent of its staff being Ghanaians.

Source: Ghana News Agency