- On behalf of the proprietors of the 6 newly licensed universities, it is both a privilege and honour for me to make this brief remark at this landmark occasion of the formal presentation of operating license to the newly approved universities. At the risk of immodesty, the proprietors could truly feel proud at today’s happy ending and successful culmination of a process, which at some instances has spanned well over a decade. It is difficult not to overtly betray a sense of accomplishment against the stringent registration conditionality and the eventual endorsement of these institutions. I am sure I would be acting with the endorsement of these administrators if I offer congratulations to these successful applicants.
- The venture of establishing a centre for tertiary learning is one of the most patriotic pursuits any one can bequeath our country at this point in time. The holy book says that “my people perish for lack of knowledge”. Truly, the yawning gap between the advanced societies and a struggling on as ours can be traceable to the unfortunate disparity in educational latitude, condemning us to a life of perpetually playing a catch up. A bad case could have been made worse to continue to haplessly saddle the government, already heavy going under the crushing weight of boundless social demands, alone with the prospects of narrowing this gulf. The advent of the private universities has by its endeavours in less than 20 years proven a catalytic mitigation, to offer the nation any real chance of significant educational progress, as a requisite for a deliberate and sustainable social development.
- I guess this short narrative provided the spark, fire and the staying power that propelled the educators through the unforgiving qualifying registration hurdles, of course set up for good reasons. Because the harmony of purpose, the philosophy at the background behind the conceptualization of all of these newly recognized universities, as others before them, bear surprisingly striking semblance and derive from a shared vision. In that case, as I become more specific with my own institution, the Admiralty University, the substance will be invariably be only a version applicable to any of the other 5.
- For the Admiralty University, its establishment was motivated simply by the desire to expand the frontiers of education, particularly maritime education in Nigeria. I need to quickly inform here to allay the many questions in mind now that it is an endeavor of public private partnership between the Nigerian Navy investment arm, the Navy Holdings Limited and the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, through the Hellenic Educational Limited as the special purpose vehicle. The intention is to create an academic centre of excellence in maritime studies, logistics management, oil and gas technologies, environmental sciences and R&D capabilities for the benefit of the NN, sister Services as well as the general public.
- The NN’s effort is in line with what obtains in some other navies of the world such as the US Navy and Pakistan Navy. It is believed that the venture would in the long run support naval operations, NN being a highly technical Service, with its equipment among the most advanced, conserve foreign exchange occasioned by reduction in students travelling abroad for studies and generate employment opportunities for Nigerians.
- In line with the expectation of the NUC, I want to assure that the Admiralty University of Nigeria and others will, in no distant time, be leading universities in forward momentum for education in Nigeria. We shall work to meet the aspirations and needs of diverse student populations to become key players in global maritime industry. Students are accordingly guaranteed learning in a secure and ideal environment under the tutelage of qualified academics whose expertise will be a blend of research and professional practice appropriate to their areas of competence.
- Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, before I conclude, permit me to take this opportunity to warmly thank Mr President, Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council for approving the take-off of these universities. I wish to also pay tribute to the Honourable Minister of Education, Executive Secretary of NUC and the entire staff of the Ministry and Commission for working assiduously to gain this registration. As the universities proceed to commence activities, I wish to further solicit your support to ensure a hitch free take-off, academic stability and consolidation. I am hopeful we could count on you again. Thank you and God bless.
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