Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Petertside, has pledged to strengthen the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Centre for Logistics and Transport Studies (CELTS) to play a catalytic role expected of such institution in the society.
Peterside spoke in Port Harcourt shortly after his inauguration as Chairman of the new board of the Centre by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ndoma Lale.
He said: “Life will almost be impossible without transport and logistics. It is the greatest enabler of economic activities. When you embark on research and knowledge acquisition and transfer in the area of transport and logistics, you are contributing to the economic development of the society.
“Let me pledge on behalf of my colleagues on the board that we will not fail you. We will play very expansive roles by sharing our own experiences with those who are at the centre on day to day basis. We will try to shape the policy background of the centre.
“We will also do whatever we can to attract funding to the centre. There is no centre that will perform optimally without money. We will assist the centre to attract funds, expand research on knowledge, management and serve as a critical link between what the industry needs and what the centre can provide.
“We will do all we can to bridge the gap between industry and society on one hand and knowledge production which takes place in the university community on the other hand.
He described their appointment into the board of the Centre as both honour and responsibility placed on them by the University of Port Harcourt, adding it was a call to be part of the role the university discharges to the society.
“Our appointment into the board of the centre is to us a responsibility, not just an honour. It is both honour and for responsibility. It is an honour and it is not just coming from you as Professor Lale, it is an invitation by the University community. That we should be part of the role the university discharges to the society,” he said.
Inaugurating the board, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Ndoma Lale, said the Nigerian transport industry is faced with all sorts of challenges that need to be fixed by the centre.
Lale said: “I want to say that the centre represents one of the most topical areas of development in this country. We have all sorts of challenges in the aviation industry, all sorts of challenges in the entire gamut of our transport system. It is the hope of the university that the centre will rejig the whole outlook of the transportation sector of the country.”