The Oro ethnic nationality in Akwa Ibom State has hailed the Federal Government over its decision to convert Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron into a university.
The Chairman, Oro Traditional Rulers, Ovong Edet Isemin, said that this was the reason why they donated a lot of land to the institution.
He spoke on Wednesday during the visit of members of the Ministerial Committee on the Restructuring and Repositioning of the academy to the area.
The committee was led by a former Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Chief Adebayo Sarumi.
The traditional ruler added that the Akwa Ibom State Government only paid some token to owners of the land as compensations.
Isemin specifically thanked the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, for his determination to turn the fortune of the school around.
He said the infrastructural facilities at MAN would put the institution ahead of the maritime university at Okoronkolo.
According to him, the location of the academy at the entrance of the Atlantic Ocean into Cross River estuary presents an excellent facility for seafaring vessels that can be used for the training of the cadets.
He said, “Regrettably, we assert here that the expected certification and periods of training for academy’s cadets have not been met.
“Looking critically into the training documents and calendar for the cadets of the academy, four levels of certification have been statutorily approved, which are: the first certification after cumulative 18 months of study for graduates of the academy to earn junior engineer or 4th officer; the 2nd certification after another minimum period of 18 months to earn 3nd engineer status or 3rd officer; the 3rd certification after another minimum period of 18 months to earn 2nd engineer status or 2nd officer; and the 4th and final certification of another 18 months to become 1st engineer or a captain of the ship of the merchant navy.”