Press Release: YOU ARE TRAIL BLAZERS – RECTOR TELLS WOMEN

The Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron has reiterated the determination of the institution to uphold its rating as the nation’s foremost training institution for Seafarers. He also swore to ensure that the Academy attains enviable standards globally to consolidate its pride of place.

He made these remarks when the Executives and members of Agape Daughters Organization, a socio-cultural body with membership drawn from the 5 Local Government Areas of Oro Nation came on Courtesy Visit to the Academy.

The Rector commended the love radiated by the group which stands them out as a unique platform for virtuous women, noting that their activities and works spread beyond their circle across the larger society. He expressed the hope that working with Agape Daughters will be a beneficial experience for the Academy, the group and humanity.

He reassured the group that the Academy’s Management has a corporate responsibility to identify with positive missions aimed at alleviating the pains of the poor and needy in society. He lauded the group’s resolve to build an orphanage, the first of its kind in Oro Nation as something quite visionary and touching, promising Management’s reasonable support for the project and thanked them for being the first group to visit after his reappointment.

Earlier, the President of the group, Mrs. Elizabeth Etim Uno in an Address said that they were glad to use the opportunity to thank God and President Muhammadu Buhari for reappointing Dr. (Amb.) Joshua Okpo as Rector of the Academy. She observed; “We have kept track record of your goodwill and the projects executed during your first tenure and we appreciate your effort so far and expect more to come in the next four years. We wish to say that this gesture by your office is a demonstration of the fact that your administration has a reputation for good governance, accommodating positive contributions of others and has a human face in policy implementation”.

Speaking further on other achievements of the Okpo Administration, Mrs. Uno stressed; “we are pleased to place on record, the wonderful steps made by your administration in the area of your advice and concrete measures taken on how best to maintain peace in Oro Nation, especially with respect to the Idua Assang and Eyo Abasi communal crisis. It is our hope that this trend will be sustained throughout your tenure in office”.

She described her group as a body comprising good spirited, responsible, intellectually industrious and caring young ladies whose objective is to foster unity and love among the women of Oro Nation. She also expressed deep interest in the welfare of widows, orphans, the less privileged and the down trodden in society, with a desire to equip married women with the wherewithal to perform their role effectively and conduct themselves as good mothers in the society.

Responding to other issues of development raised, the Rector observed that it was sad to recall that a few people were misled to organize and carry placards demanding that he be removed from office, despite sacrifices made by him and his Management to change the story in Academy for good. He noted that the Federal Government under the leadership of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo established and sited this great institution in Oron to capture the sea trade and shipping activities of the Gulf of Guinea; so we must all work to both respect and actualize that vision.

“When I arrived Oron for this task slightly over four years ago, I found that most households had youth as cult members and they engaged in acts which were detrimental to society’s growth and by extension could retard the growth of the Academy. So, I embarked on a mission of giving youth leaders something to engage them positively. I and the Management expected them to spread fairly whatever jobs and so on that they were given among members. What we found out of recent is that they, the neglected and disgruntled members formed splinter groups to attack the Rector and the Academy”. He urged them to advise the youth leaders to spread favours received, for the sake of peaceful coexistence and growth.

The Rector stated further, “As at today, my Management has employed more than 300 Oro indigenes within four years. I inherited a wage bill of N10 million in July, 2011 but today our wage bill is N78 million. Management’s unshaken drive and intention has remained to improve the welfare and living standards of indigenes and other Nigerians. Under my Management, Light and Water Supplies have remained constant and regular, 24 hours every day, weekly and monthly year in year out. Ditto for the Police Security presence which ensures safety and peace”.

Today the Academy has made significant progress on the issue of the Certificate of Competency (COC) awarded by the institution which is renewable every 6 months and recognized by the maritime industry globally.

He reiterated the fact that certificates issued by MAN, Oron are of courses certified by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and significantly different from programmes certified by NBTE and NUC. The IMO certified courses enable MAN, Oron to train seafarers for both international and local markets. Such products are of the low-level, middle-level and high-level manpower. He emphasized that recently, the Academy took concrete steps to enable it migrate from STCW ’95 version of training which is fast becoming outdated to the 2010 Manila version. The Rector observed that Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, Police Academy, Kano and a number of other tertiary institutions offering degree programmes up to Ph.D levels do not bear the name University. He urged the group to enlighten people against the spirit of envy and negative interests and undue politicking and stressed that politics should be kept outside the four walls of the Academy.        

‘’My goal is to build a sustainable structure in the Academy that will outlive the present Management. I invite you on board the Academy ship as partners-in-progress ‘’.

Among the Management staff present to receive the group were the Head of Personnel, Mr. M. A. Mkpandiok, the Deputy Head of Bursary, Mr. Sunday Okwong Udo, Ag. Regimental Unit Commander, Commander O. B. Otu and Head of Public Relations, Mr.Siddi E. Mkpandiok.

 

From: Public Relations Department,

MAN, Oron