Press Release: Ministerial Committee Commends MAN Acting Rector

The unwavering efforts of Mr. Mkpandiok A. Mkpandiok led administration towards the actualisation of the ongoing transformation process of the nation’s premier maritime education and training institution, Maritime Academy of Nigeria has been commended by the Ministerial Committee on restructuring and repositioning of the Academy.

This was made known by a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and Chairman of the Committee, Chief Adebayo Sarumi during the Committee’s maiden visit to the state.

He said the purpose of their visit was for members of the committee to familiarise with the Academy Community, its Host Community and the government of Akwa Ibom State as well as canvass support to enable them undertake their assignment successfully.

He noted that the constitution of a Technical Committee made up of the calibre of the people the Committee is composed of, goes a long way to show how passionate and committed the Federal Government is towards the rebranding the Academy in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s standards.

The Chairman emphasised the need to hold on to the dream of the founding fathers of the Academy, and ensure that it becomes reality.

Concerning the mandate of the Committee, Sarumi hinted that the main objectives of the Committee included advising the Federal Government on the repositioning of the Academy to enable it attain optimal training capacity; recommend appropriate measures to be taken by the Federal Government  to upgrade the Academy  to a world class institution and maintain the standard of training and certification that would effectively serve both the local and international needs of the maritime industry.

Praising the Honourable Minister of Transportation’s ingenuity at constituting the technical committee, he therefore called on the Management of the institution to put forward a position paper reflecting the technical and administrative challenges, and called for the shunning of all dispassionate and primordial tendencies, for the betterment of the institution and the nation’s maritime sector.

“You have the listening ear of the Honourable Minister, put your position paper together. We need an all inclusive participation by all of you” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address the substantive Registrar and Acting Rector of the Academy, Mr. M. A. Mkpandiok, expressed optimism that at the end of the           Committee’s assignment the Academy would be better than what it now is.

He intimated the Committee on his administrative’s efforts in tackling some of the institution’s problems since his assumed office in acting capacity, while stressing the major challenges militating against the development of the Academy to include lack of Sea Berths for Cadets’ Sea-Time Experience, inadequate funding, securing and sustaining qualified professionals and lack of relevant educational facilities for the training of Cadets.

He appealed to the Committee to use their good position to impress on Non-governmental and Governmental Agencies,  other maritime organisations to help the Academy in form of donations, and also the Federal Government to formulate policies that would encourage Shipping companies operating in the territorial waters of the country to accept Cadets on-board their vessels.

Meanwhile the Registrar had urged all Staff and Cadets while awaiting the Ministerial Committee’s report to put all hands on deck, in line with the change begins-with-me campaign of President Muhamadu Buhari.

The Committee which was warmly received on arrival, met with Management, Staff and Cadets of the Academy, socio-political groups, Oro traditional institutions  with whom they had one-on-one interactions.

They also undertook a tour of Academy’s facilities, among the facilities inspected were Presidential Jetty, Simulators, Laboratories, Class Room Blocks (completed and ongoing) Central Refectory, Hostels, Sporting Facilities, Survival Swimming Pool, Lecture Theatres, E-Library, Auditorium and  Marine Engineering Workshops amongst others.

Leaders of apex socio-political groups in Oro Community who also spoke differently, during their interactive session with the Committee commended the decision of the Federal Government to upgrade the Academy, for optimal global competitiveness while also expressing optimism that with the calibre of personalities the Committee is comprised of, they have no doubt that their dream of a maritime university in Oron will be a reality in no distant time.

The group whose leaders spoke included the Council of Oro Traditional Rulers (COTR), Oro Union (OU), Oro Youth Movement (OYOM) and Essu Nlap Oro (ENO).

It would be recalled that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi in January 2017 inaugurated a body of tested and trusted technocrats and maritime experts as a Committee to identify the problems plaguing the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State and proffer solutions.

The Ministerial Committee is composed of a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),Chief Adebayo Sarumi; a Master Mariner and former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC),Capt. Adamu Biu; a former Government Inspector of Ships and former  Administrator of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Engr. Olu Akinsoji;  Managing Director and CEO of Starzs Marine and Engineering Limited andPresident, Ship Owners Association(SOAN) Engr. Greg Ogbeifun; the Director Maritime Safety & Security, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr D.M. Dauda; the Director of MAN, Consultancy Services, Dr. Kevin Okonna while the Mr. Sani Umar is the Secretary of the Committee.



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