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FG urged to shelve plan to scrap maritime university

A former Sole Administrator, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom, Mr Olu Akinsoji has urged the Federal Government to shelve any plan to scrap the Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Delta.

Akinsoji, a former Government Inspector of Ships (GIS), made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as maritime activities closed on Friday.

The marine engineer said at a time when stakeholders were clamouring for more institutions in the maritime sector to build human capacity, scrapping the university would not augur well for the industry.

According to him, the university was conceived by the last administration and was duly approved by the National Assembly after proper scrutiny.

“What that means is that the senators that approved the university thought it was good for the nation and good for the maritime sector.

“Whatever due process issues the Federal Government might have with the establishment of the university, it is those issues that government should address and not throwing the baby away with the bath water,’’ Akinsoji told NAN.

He also said that it was time for the upgrade of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria to a university.

According to Akinsoji, who is the Chairman, Society of Nigerian Mariners (SNM), doing that will strengthen the capacity of the institution to produce highly-skilled manpower for the maritime sector.

In the week under review, a maritime expert, Mr John Egesi, urged the Federal Government not to contemplate floating a new national shipping line for now.

Egesi, a former Director-General of the defunct National Maritime Authority (NMA), made the plea in an interview NAN.

He said what the government should focus on was to develop the nation into an export-based economy, adding that having a shipping line without cargoes to export, made no economic sense.

`You do not just have a shipping line for the sake of it. You have a shipping line out of the need to export your cargoes to other countries.

“Where are the cargoes to export? How many things do we produce in Nigeria?

“Where are the manufacturing industries? A new shipping line should not be the idea for now. The focus should be boosting our exports. “ Egesi said.

Also, in the week under review, the Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted 150 million worth of cannabis and arrested a suspect.

NAN reports that the illicit drug was handed to the Lagos Commander of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Alhaji Sule Aliyu.

NAN reports that the handover was done by the Controller of the Customs Command, Mr Umar Yusuf in the presence the Zonal Coordinator of Customs, an Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Eporwei Edike.

According to Yusuf, the seizure was made on Feb. 9 at Badagry and a 25-year-old suspect known as Bala Mamudu, of Awuse village, Ojo, Lagos, was arrested.

Also in the week, the Oyo/Osun Area Command of Customs said it generated N14.59 billion in 2015 and prepared to build on its revenue generation and anti-smuggling activities.

The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Tope Ogunkua, made the disclosure at the command’s headquarters in Ibadan when he received the zonal coordinator.

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