LMTI in Colors: Hosts First Post-War Graduation amidst Stormy Weather

A heavy rainstorm may have disrupted the graduation ceremony of the first batch of cadets to complete studies at the Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) since the end of the civil war, but the young men and women stood tall in the face of adversity after the completion of a rigorous training exercise which will change the cadets lives for the better.

Mr. Francis Liti Mboge, The Gambia’s Minister of Transportation, Works and Infrastructure and also Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Regional Maritime University in Ghana, said water bodies and the maritime domain are important to the growth of any economy.

“The ability of the Liberia Marine Training Institute to rise from the ashes of civil conflict and continue to fulfill its mandate is not only remarkable but indeed a tribute to the determination and courage of the Liberian Government and people to invest in the development of human capacity.” Mr. Mboge Continued: “In Africa as in most parts of the world, maritime transport is the major means of conveyance of public traffic. It is estimated that about 90 percent of global trade is handled by maritime transport. The impact of the growth there is quite significant. It has broadened the scope of national economies making possible creation of employment opportunities”.

The Gambian minister urged Liberia to make use of the natural resources the country has in order to empower themselves. “Liberia’s rich coastline and the vast investment opportunities in its maritime domain is a testimony of its status as a maritime nation. Not all countries are this blessed.” Mr. Mboge stressed that the Liberia Maritime Training Institute should expand to meet up with present realities of the digital age. “The challenges of our countries are immense and training institutes such as the LMTI should therefore expand and develop more training programs.” Mr. Mboge urged the cadets to be hard working and disciplined. “It is important to know that hard work, discipline and integrity lie at the heart of the industry.”

In his welcome remarks, Maritime Commissioner Hon. Binyah C. Kesselly said he had confidence in the training offered at the LMTI. “We at the Liberia Maritime Authority have the utmost confidence in the training regiments that we place these young men and women through and we do not relent to ensure that they meet the highest possible international standards.”

The graduates received certificates for completion of the General Purpose Rating (GPR) program in both Marine Engine and Navigation in addition to six (6) other IMO mandatory short courses - namely Fire Fighting & Prevention, Personal Survival Technique, Elementary First Aid, Tanker Familiarization, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility and International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.

The ceremony which kicked off under a bright sunshine with cool morning breeze blowing from the Farmington and Du rivers soon changed to moist air as clouds turned dark within the twinkle of an eye, stalling the paramilitary parade of the first post-war graduates who were elegantly and beautifully attired in white suits.

For his part, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai urged the graduates to be exemplary as the training of more young Liberians is largely dependent on the way they behave, especially when placement opportunities are sought and secured for them. He commended the hardworking leadership of Hon. Binyah C. Kesselly and the staff of the LMTI for the commitment and effort directed at the training of the young men and women.

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