The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the establishment of the first maritime university for the country.

It also approved the revised National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Minister of Information, Patricia Akwashiki; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Stephen Oru; and the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Kenneth Kobani, yesterday briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to Akwashiki, the maritime university will be located in Warri, Delta State.

“In the (council) meeting, there was a ratification of approval of a provisional licence for the establishment of Nigerian Maritime University at Okerenkoko in Delta State,” she said.

The minister also said the council approved the report of the ministerial implementation committee on harmonisation of taxes and levies across the federation.

She explained that the harmonisation becomes necessary because there have been issues, especially of service providers, who, when they move from one state into another, are also levied by the new state and also by the local government.

Kobani explained that the revised National Policy on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises was done because SMEs are strategic and important functionaries in any economy.

He explained, “The first national policy was 2007 and there were problems at that time because a lot of stakeholders needed to buy into it.

“This time, a more holistic approach was taken to ensure that extensive consultation with all the stakeholders had to take place and they all endorsed this particular one and so as a result of that they also came with a recommendation that will replace the National Consultative Council with the National Council for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Council, to push to ensure that it will be a major contributor to the economy.”