THE Senate on Wednesday, at a plenary, passed a Bill to upgrade the Maritime Academy, Oron in Akwa-Ibom State, into a full-fledged university for maritime studies.
Also passed was a Bill to establish the Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Ogoja, Cross River.
Both bills were passed after the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.
Senator Sandy Onuh (PDP- Cross River) in a presentation on behalf of the Committee’s Chairman, Sen. Ahmad Babba Kaita (APC-Katsina) said upgrading the Academy into a university would help Nigeria in achieving the prerequisites of the International Maritime Organisation Convention on standard of training, certification and watch-keeping for seafarers.
He observed that Nigeria presently recorded losses in the maritime sector, a development which was largely due to deficits in manpower and seafarers.
He decried that the country committed resources in search of university degrees, postgraduate research degrees and professionals from all facets of the maritime industry outside Nigeria.
He said, “The maritime environment requires highly trained personnel to manage the country’s enormous natural endowment and resources on our offshore, international shipping, oil and gas and expansion of coastline with waterways for a viable coastal and inland water transport industry,” he said.