MAN UNVEILS THREE YEAR SCORECARD
Rector Gives Situation Report on Training, Administrative Reforms and Infrastructural Development
“The last three years have been very interesting and challenging for me, especially when we critically examine what is required to execute the huge task of restoring the Academy to its core mandate of training seafarers for the maritime industry”-Effedua
Appointed three years ago and charged to restructure and reposition the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, to international standard and make it attractive and competitive, the Rector of the Academy, Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua (rtd) and his management team, after three years on the saddle has given insight into what has transpired at the Academy from 2017 to date when they embarked on the restoration task.
In the document, the Rector thank the Minister of Transportation Mr. Rotimi Amaechi for believing in him and choosing him from among other Nigerians for the MAN assignment.
He equally acknowledges the Governing Council Chairman Chief Demola Seriki and his team for the robust support and direction that contributed greatly to the tremendous achievements recorded at the Academy in the last three years.
In the update and situation report, the Rector also expressed his appreciation to Maritime stakeholders, groups and associations that have stood by the Academy through thick and thin.
“From the Ministry of Transportation and NIMASA, the Academy has enjoyed robust supports. It is pertinent to state that NIMASA in recent times has paid more attention to the Academy in terms of technical support and regular dialogues. For instance, NIMASA recently sent a team to visit the Academy to inspect facilities with the aim of using the Academy as one of the institutions for training of NSDP cadets. The team from NIMASA was overwhelmed with the level of transformation in the Academy. The visit has also shown some commitments by NIMASA because in the past, there seems to be a disconnect between NIMASA as the maritime administrators and the Academy as they were too far from the development in the Academy. However, recent events show that they have reconnected and we are happy about that”, the Rector said.
From Academics to Capacity Building/Trainings, from Infrastructural development to Community Relations/Corporate Social Responsibility, from Review of Curriculum and Admission Policy among others, the Rector disclosed what has been going on at the Academy, why what was done was done and what needs to be done moving forward:
The current Management has done well as the Academy is currently an institution to beat. In terms of equipment, the current Management has also been able to upgrade seriously. We have acquired three state-of-the-art simulators, namely the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, the Full Mission Engine Room Simulator and the Multifunctional Classroom, which is the latest in marine training simulators and can sit up to 30 cadets in a work station.
The Maritime Academy of Nigeria is the only institution in Africa that has the Multifunctional Classroom.
As soon as restrictions on international flight are relaxed, the simulators would be airlifted to Nigeria and it is believed that the cadets would begin to enjoy the equipment before the year runs out.
To avoid the mistakes of the past, the Academy has trained 15 of its staff both as users and maintainers. The ICT team was fully represented in the training and they can now assemble, dismantle as well as carry out repairs on the simulators such that in the event of fault, the Academy does not need to fall back to the manufacturers for maintenance.
The Academy has continued to provide quality training and has been able to train over 8,000 Nigerian professionals who are already deployed in the maritime industry. They have benefitted from several training programmes such as refresher courses in the name of mandatory courses and other specialized courses.
For cadets, the Academy has been able to train over 456 cadets within this period. The Management has been able to get publications and provide training materials such as laptops for cadets, turned their classrooms into smart classrooms and all their hostels accommodation are now ensuite (self-contained). To boost the quality of training, more lecturers were engaged for all the schools including a foreign master mariner (Captain) from India and the Academy is looking forward to engaging more qualified international lecturers to support our Nigerian professionals in making sure that we achieve an institution that would produce world class seafarers.
The Academy during my time as Rector, has also been able to attract the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to audit its facilities. The Academy has also attracted the attention of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and partnered with the Nigeria Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) and other relevant stakeholders within the Maritime Industry.
Some of these bodies have been supper supportive of the Academy. Whenever there is need for consultation and calls are put across to them, they have never turned their backs on the Academy. The Academy is indeed very grateful for these supports.
The perception of the Academy now is totally different. If someone has not been to the Academy in the last 3 years and comes in now, there might be some definite psychological disorientation because the Academy has totally transformed. It is a complete departure from what it used to be.
Nonetheless, the Rector listed some of the issues affecting development of the Academy in the past to include Falling standard of training, Over bloated cadets enrolment, Demoralized manpower, infrastructural decay, Poor maintenance of facilities and unnecessary employments.
Other factors listed by the Rector are Abandoned projects, Misplacement of priorities in the application of resources, Huge debt profile, Dearth of teaching aids, Inadequate lecturers, Poor salary structure and many more.
“The decline is largely attributable to maladministration by some of the past regimes. As a result, there were myriads of constraints such as inadequate training equipment, inadequate support facilities, inadequate/irregular funding, hostile activities of the host community and poor attitude to work by some staff amongst others.
“Fortunately, the Honourable Minister of Transportation timely intervened and rescued the situation from worsening further, by setting up of an IMC to restructure and reposition the Academy to carry out its core mandate of training seafarers for the Nations Maritime Industry and the world at large. The assignment of the IMC culminated in a new Management saddled with the responsibility to coordinate efforts towards restoring the Academy to its core mandate”.
“It is noteworthy that this task has been successfully carried out, with several milestones recorded since September 2017. These include improvement in the standard of training, creation of conducive atmosphere for learning as well as procurement of advanced training equipment”.
Other measures adopted include improvement in the welfare of cadets and staff, development of impact projects, completion of abandoned projects, eradication of leakages in financial resources and prudent management of resources amongst others”.
“It is pertinent to state that as a result of these achievements, the Academy was recognized as the 2019 Best Maritime Training Institution in Nigeria, what is left now is to dot the ‘I’ and cross the ‘t’ the Rector declared.
While many stakeholders express satisfaction with what the Rector has done, others express worry on what happens to the Academy when the tour of duty of Effedua ends at the Academy.