Rector of Nigeria’s Premier Maritime Institution, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Commodore Duja Effedua has pledged to transform the institution to one of the best in the world.
The Rector who spoke exclusively to Shipping World said “under my watch the emphasis would be quality, quality, quality. And to achieve this we are going to turn the institution to a centre of excellence in such a manner that every cadet of the Academy would be a worthy ambassador of this great country. The era of mass production of half baked cadets is over “We are going to improve on the basic infrastructure needed for the Academy” he said.
On the spate of abandoned projects in the Academy, Comdr Effedua revealed that only projects that are relevant to the cadets would ‘receive our attention. He asked rhetorically:’ For instance ,what are we doing with an Olympic size swimming pool? For God’s sake we are a training institution, and i stand to be corrected that we don’t need an Olympic size swimming at MAN, Oron,” he said.
The tough talking Rector told those who saw the 40years old institution as a “Contract awarding academy” should look elsewhere. “I am not going to award any new contracts, excepts they are extremely important. We have a backlog of abandoned and uncompleted projects. My regime would not wish to be distracted by pressure from stakeholders who see MAN, Oron as a cash cow” he added.
Effedua also disclosed that the Academy have lined up a series of MOUs with relevant agencies in the maritime and Oil and Gas sectors including the Bonny NLNG and that the institution would bounce back to life in the new year.
In a related development, Commodore Effedua has promised to return the institution to its glorious past as one the most admired and respected maritime academy in the west and central African sub region.
Commodore Effedua who made the pledge in Oron when he hosted members of the House Committee on Maritime Administration and Education said, “I am here to change the narrative where cadets of the Academy are regarded as half baked and unemployable”
He added that, ” When this Academy was established 40 years ago it was the pride of the African continent. It was established at the same time with countries like South Africa, Ghana and Egypt but 40 years down the line, we are hundreds of poles apart because we did not do the right things. We relegated standards and competence to the background and turned out cadets that cannot compete with the best in the world.”
‘In years past, graduates of MAN, Oron were regarded as one of the best in Africa as most of them got top flight positions in blue chip companies in the maritime and oil and gas sectors but unfortunately this narrative has since changed’, he told the House Members .
The Rector blamed the declining fortunes of the Academy on poor and inadequate learning infrastructure, ill equipped and motivated staff coupled with distractions from the host community. “Our host community must understand that this is a Federal Government owned institution in which all Nigerians have equal stake. It is therefore unacceptable that our host community has failed to realise that as an international institution these local bickerings must and should be insulated from the goals of the founding fathers of the Academy” he concluded.
Chairman of the Committee Mohammed Bago in his remarks urged the Rector to justify the confidence reposed in him by President Muhammad Buhari. He described his appointment as a wake up call and that considering his background as a Naval officer, he was convinced the Rector has what it takes to turn the institution around. Said he: “We will support you, we will collaborate with you. We want you to furnish us with your plan of action, your road map and your assets and liabilities. What are the funds you need for sea time training? We must be able to train the best cadets who have the requisite qualifications. We want all abandoned projects completed and contractors who are being owed must be mobilized back to site”, he said