Reps Seek Greater Development At MAN
As Staffs with Fake Certificates Elope
Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, have ask for more developmental work to be done at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, to bring at par with other Maritime Academies in the world as the institution has surpassed other Academies in the subregion.
Rector of the Academy, Commodore Duja Effedua (rtd), while briefing members of the committee told them that though he was initially weighed down and burdened when he was appointed Rector of the Academy, he is now proud and happy to be called Rector of MAN.
The committee chaired by Hon Lynda Ikpeazu was at MAN as part of the committee’s oversight function over the Academy.
Speaking on level of development at the Academy, the Rector declared that the Academy has moved very far from where it was before his arrival to a position of envy and authority within the West African sub region.
In his words “We have made tremendous progress in Academics, structures and facilities. We are now respected by the local and international maritime community. There is no Academy that has what we have in terms of teaching equipment, structures and facilities.
“We no longer have classrooms in the Academy. What we have are lecture theatres which are smart and digitally compliant with standards of the International Maritime Organization, IMO which donated two hundred books to us recently to enhance our training”.
The Rector informed the Ikpeazu led committee that the Academy apart from being the smartest training institution in Nigeria was also among the first to carry out online lectures in Nigeria during the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
“Though we did not plan nor prepared for the Pandemic, we were able to deploy our existing IT infrastructure to ensure that our Cadets didn’t stay idle while at home.
“Conscious and aware of the demands of the digital age, we gave our Cadets laptops free of charge for their studies. These laptops were specially configured and loaded with learning materials for their specific courses. Our Cadets also have free books given to them for their academics”
“These made it very easy for us to launch our online classes when other institutions were thinking of what to do”, the Rector said.
On accommodation and Security within the Academy, the Rector explained that all male and female hostels have been upgraded and made ensuite with two Cadets, (maximum) to a room in line with recommendations of the IMO.
Effedua also explained that the new digital gate of the Academy was constructed with security of Cadets and staffs in mind.
He said the entire Academy campus can be seen from the gate as well as parts of the surrounding host communities.
“Our focus from next year shall be on Capacity Building, Teaching Equipment and International Exposure for our staff. We are done with structures and facilities. The next phase in the restructuring mandate is to train our lecturers and staff to improve their capacities to deliver on assigned duties in the Academy”.
Speaking on how he has been able to achieve the visible transformation, the Rector said he applied prudence and blockage of revenue leakages.
“When i arrived the Academy, there were several contracts that were awarded that were not realistic neither were many of such contracts of value to the Academy so the stoppage of such frivolous, unrealistic contracts and fiscal discipline that we applied helped us to achieve what has been achieved”.
“I had to close my doors to people who were and still remain obstacles to the progress of the Academy. The work we have to do does not allow us the luxury of time for such unproductive engagements”
For instance, when the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, sent a bill of N80m (eighty million naira), as light bill, i decided to buy diesel to power the Academy. We also have Solar energy that is deployed in the evenings to light up the Academy. We have saved some money in this area and that is how we have been managing”, the Rector explained.
Chairman of the House Committee, lauded the Rector and his management team for their efforts in restoration of the Academy”
According to Lynda Ikpeazu “We have seen what the Rector has done and we are very happy. What he has done is an indication that with the right appointment, much can be achieved. As a committee, it is our conviction that competence should trump politics when it comes to making appointments if Nigeria to make greater progress among the comity of nations”
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has invited close to thirty staffs of the Academy with doubtful certificates to appear before it and defend their certificates.
We gathered from very competent sources within the Academy that while some of such staffs have resigned from the Academy, others have absconded following the invitation by ICPC.
Recall that as part of the ongoing restructuring programme, the Rector had hinted that the Academy was over staffed.
A staff audit carried within the first one year of this present administration, unearthed workers who were collecting salaries from the Academy with fake identities.
We are reliably informed that the ongoing operation show your certificate is further aimed at identifying those with fake certificates working in the Academy in order to reposition the Academy and make it attractive and competitive globally.