Ex-rector MAN Oron lauds Senate over passage of bill Upgrading Academy To University 

A former rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron in Akwa Ibom State;Mr Nseyen Ebong  has lauded the Senate for the passage of a bill that would turn the institution into a specialised university, saying it would boost manpower development in the sector.Ebong said the new status of the academy would enable specialised courses including naval architecture to be developed which according to him would help in the country’s quest to become a major shipping hub and be in a position to build its ocean going vessels.“They will begin to teach naval architecture at the highest level, you know what that would mean. Nigeria would begin to build her own ships, the gains are tremendous because you will be teaching these courses at the highest level when Nigeria will become to compete with established maritime countries,” he said.In an interview, Ebong said the gains of the country having specialised universities of maritime studies would soon become evident as it would enable the country to tap from its vast maritime resources.“Nigeria is a maritime nation, it has vast maritime resources covering several nautical miles which have remained largely untapped;  having new universities of maritime studies in the country is a welcome development though it ought to have come earlier than now,” he said.He advised that the Federal Government to ensure the proper funding of the new specialised universities of maritime studies to avoid them remaining ‘glorified secondary schools’, adding that various sources of funding could be explored by experts from shipping organisations, funding agencies and multilateral organisations supporting the shipping industry.“There are various funding agencies that are available for the development of the maritime sector, it is up to the authorities of the new universities to explore for the development of the institutions, not waiting and depending on the federal government,’’ he said.