Maritime Academy of Nigeria: Stakeholders Give It to Minister
“Expect More” says Rector
Diligence, Passion, Commitment and the patriotic zeal to excel must have impelled the honourable minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi to embark on a painstaking search for a fitting personality to head and lead the efforts to Restructure and Reposition the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN.
If the template being executed at MAN could be adopted and replicated in other Agencies/parastatals of government at the Federal and state levels, the transformational impact on the economy and people of Nigeria could be of inestimable and indescribable proportion.
For decades, stories of tears, pains, hostilities, rancor, decadence, rot and rust were synonymous with and very regular adjectives with the Academy.
Tales of unrests, petitions, accusations and counter accusations made the rounds regularly on issues concerning the Institution.
The sudden, mysterious death of Dr. Joshua Okpo on December 8, 2015 in Abuja followed by the passing of Engr. Anthony Ishiodu in early August 2016, (also in Abuja), sent many shivering and scared stiff at the Academy.
It was Dr. Ante Mkpadiok Ante that stood in the gap as Rector (in acting capacity) to avoid a vacuum which could have grounded the Academy.
The battle and lobbying, threats and intimidations in the quest for a substantive Rector were deep and quite intriguing.
From tribal and ethnic alignments to regional and geopolitical frontiers, the race for a Rector for the Academy was not a hundred meter dash but a marathon which only those with stamina and skill understood and ran with all ruggedness.
For standing firm, for not yielding to pressures, for sticking to his convictions, for resisting the threats and seeking out Commodore Duja Effedua Emmanuel and eventually appointing him Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria in 2017, Hon Rotimi Amaechi must be celebrated and congratulated on the feat recorded at MAN from 2017 to date.
Senator Gbemisola Saraki captured it very aptly when she said, “The Academy is a shining Light of the Buhari administration”.
The Interim Management Committee, IMC, under the chairmanship of Chief Adebayo Sarumi, was selected and inaugurated by the Minister. The decision by the Minister that the IMC should implement its recommendations on the way forward for the Academy, the inclusion of the Rector and the professionalism and patriotism displayed by members of the IMC worked very well at MAN.
While inaugurating the IMC, Amaechi had said “It is my pleasure to once again welcome you to yet another inauguration on the same matter, the restructuring of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.
“As I said during your inauguration as a committee to advise government on how best to restructure and reposition the academy to make it comparable to successful academies worldwide. To achieve the vision and objectives of establishing the institution, members of the committee now transform into an Interim Management Committee.
“We approach the Federal Government to give us the go ahead to implement your reports and we got the approval of the President for the committee to implement that report, the minister said.
Clarify the development, the Rector explained “The job of the IMC is to restructure the academy in terms of curricular administration. The IMC is to also help re-organize the academy because the IMO was already trying to delist the academy from its White List.
“Since the re-structuring commenced, the IMO has visited the academy. Also, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has also visited us, including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
“The IMC called on all stakeholders to come and salvage the situation of the academy because things were almost getting out of hand before we came in.”
From 2017 to December 2020, the turnaround witnessed at the Academy under the leadership of the Rector has been described as unprecedented by maritime professionals.
The infrastructural upgrade, the remodeling of classrooms/hostels, the digitalization of learning, the provision of free laptops configured for use by Cadets, the acquisition of modern Simulators consisting of the Multi-Functional Classroom Simulator, Full Mission Bridge and Full mission Engine room Simulators at the Academy has given MAN a training superiority edge in West Africa.
The arrival of the Helicopter Underwater Escape Training Equipment, HUETE, Simulator to further boost and improve training at the Academy is another feat recorded at the Academy.
Speaking on the HUETE Simulator, the Rector said “This is the 5th set of Simulators to arrive the Academy in the last seven months. We also have the multifunctional, Full Mission Bridge and Engine Room Simulators. The Multi-Functional Classroom Simulator is a combination of eight additional Simulators which have their soft wares installed for specific purposes”.
“The Federal government wants to build capacity for Nigerians. It is not about profit-making, so we are going to crash the cost of training to enable as many Nigerians as possible, take advantage of our modern simulators to develop the maritime and oil and Gas industries for the good of the country”.
That Effedua was reappointed Rector by the federal government did not surprise followers of events at the Academy. It would have been a rude shock for the Rector not to be reappointed. The congratulatory messages have come from a wide range of professionals and stakeholders, attesting to the efforts of the Rector and the correctness of his reappointment.
As a maritime stakeholder put it “The rector earned his reappointment. Credit must be given to the minister for making the right choice and the President for acknowledging and affirming that the reward of a job well done is more work for those who deliver on their assignment”