The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has given a vote of confidence on the management of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron for its sustained efforts at restructuring the school in the last 18 months.
He stated this when he inspected and inaugurated the school’s newly built ultra modern training facilities at the school complex in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
Amaechi, said the management of the academy had been able to resuscitate the institution which had before now suffered gross negligence, mismanagement and poor application of resources in the hands of previous administrators.
According to him, “The academic environment has improved in terms of infrastructure, in terms of buildings but it takes much more than buildings. You need teachers…You must develop. You must purchase equipment for training the students to make them more competitive and your certificate recognised with foreign institutions training seafarers.”
Addressing guests, staff and cadets at the event, the minister described the state of the institution upon his resumption as its supervising minister as deplorable and one that elicited worries from concerned critical stakeholders.
He explained that those concerns and fears of stakeholders prompted the setting up of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) on the Academy whose task it was to audit the institution and come up with recommendations for the repositioning of the school.
Amaechi applauded the Rector of MAN, Commodore Emmanuel Effedua (rtd) for his focus on the implementation of the report but charged him to extend focus to the development of an internationally competitive and holistic curriculum to boost the academy’s credibility.
He urged current lecturers to improve on their quality by returning to school for their PhDs and called on the management to support them in this feat even while attracting world class lecturers-foreigners and locals- for a train the trainer pact and for full time training the students.
“The Academy can introduce good allowances to encourage very competent teachers to come and live here and teach the cadets. Besides, staff members should be trained even for PhDs so that there are more teachers to teach, ”Amaechi stated.
He regretted the stunted growth that had plagued the institution, stressing the need for the current management to enforce disciplinary measures if its good works will be sustained.
He tasked the management on also ensuring 24hours power supply, sea time for cadets, and provision of visionary leadership.
Speaking earlier, Effedua described the facilities as one step in the right direction as recommended by the Interim Management Committee.
He disclosed that in pursuance of a credible change in the school, the school management had adopted the report/recommendations of the forensic audit by the committee and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) amongst others as a working document, and that that decision has yielded benefits.
According to Effedua, within the last 18 months, 80 per cent of abandoned projects have been taken up even as the Academy has reduced its number of intakes from over 10000 to 300, with 30 students being the benchmark for each class.