By Aminata S Kuyateh
The Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure in collaboration with the Gambia Maritime Administration (MRU) and the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) hosted the 30th regional maritime university board of governors forum from 7th -10th November at SDKJICC at Bijilo.
The MRU governors comprises the transport ministers responsible for maritime matters in the five member states naming: Republics of Cameroon, Ghana, The Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The board of governors converges every six months on rotational basic to review the activities of the MRU and map out the way forward for the smooth operations of the university in the coming months.
Speaking at the opening, Hon. Ebrima Sillah, the minister of transport, board chairman and chancellor of the MRU, said the regional maritime university has brought us together from the five member states as brothers and sisters and has continued to be a symbol of unity, hope and integration for the Maritime industry which still remains the single most important means of transport for our continent and indeed the entire globe for goods and commodities.
Hon. Sillah said the MRU continues to register significant strides despite its numerous challenges key among which is financial. The Board of Governors in recent times came up with a strategy to help all member states to be up to date with their contributions to the University.
Minister Sillah added that during the 28th meeting hosted by the sister Republic of Sierra Leone; the Board gave waivers to some of the countries that were owing huge sums. He said he has been informed that the countries involved have taken advantage of this window to pay. He still encourages those that are yet to fully pay to kindly do so to help the institution.
“The University has been involving in various activities geared towards the strengthening of the institution especially its finances. Particularly I’m excited by news of the signing of an MOU with Lamar Marine Services that will see boats built on the RMU campus, the donation of a training ship by MODEC and several other collaborations including Delta Flash, Stand code Engineering Services, Ghana Grid Company and Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Company among others. I commend and encourage the management to continue to engage stakeholders notably the industry to make the training in the University relevant to needs of the sector,” said Minister Sillah.
Minister Sillah urged colleagues and other stakeholders to also assist the University with more collaborations which will accrue unparalleled benefits to the University and its affiliated bodies.
Minister Sillah expressed gratitude to Hon. Bai Lamin Jobe for his immense contribution during his tenure as board member which resulted in a scholarship program specifically sponsored by the Ministry of Transport, Works and infrastructure and its allied agencies. This scheme has so far sponsored 24 Gambian students who are pursuing various programs of study at the RMU.
“The Regional Maritime University remains a beacon of hope and a living testimony of African collaboration and unity. I therefore encourage all the member states to do everything possible to ensure that we further nurture and expand this great union. Posterity shall indeed judge all of us in our various positive contributions in decades and centuries to come” Minister Sillah concluded.