L-R: The representative of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Huttins Davies, the representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Minster of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation; Alh. Sabiu Zakari during the World Maritime Day Celebration in Lagos, last week.
Apparently concerned about the lack of seatime experience for cadets which has forced some of them into becoming bus conductors and hair dressers , the Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron Akwa Ibom State, Cmdr Duja Effedua has slashed down the number of cadets that would be admitted into the academy henceforth.
Efedua announced at an event to celebrate the World Maritime Day in Lagos that in the past, the academy admits between 1,200 to 2,000 cadets for a particular session. He however said that henceforth, only 88 cadets would be admitted for National Diploma (ND) and for the Higher National Diploma (HND) 150 cadets only would be taken.
He noted that the academy has gone through some dark moments and that this has led her to carrying out major restructuring.
According to him, part of the restructuring process is that the academy is now sourcing for lecturers both locally and internationally. He said that the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Dakuku Peterside has graciously agreed to pay the salaries of such lecturers that would be employed.
Duja also itemized other major restructuring to include; remodeling of the classrooms, the hostels and the libraries. He revealed that the academy is building a new simulator centre which NIMASA has pledged to help to complete.
Speaking, he said "In the next three weeks we would be having our graduation, we have restructured, we have implemented, we have set up milestones and gotten about sixty percent of our targets, presently we are sourcing for qualified lecturers both home and abroad"
"NIMASA has asked us to set up a three-man committee to discuss it, I believe in the next few months, we shall be seen as one of the best maritime academy in the world"
"We are engaging stakeholders in the ongoing development, we are not going to be begging them to take our cadets onboard as seamen, we are going to make our cadets very attractive for them to even come and request for our seafarers"
"As for the new intakes, I think we are going to get a lot of enemies at the end of the day because we are talking about quality, you cannot just admit somebody because of political considerations, or ethnic affiliation with certain persons"
"For instance we used to admit between 1,200 to 2000 cadets per scheme , that would not happen anymore, we are taking only 88 cadets for National Diploma and for the Higher National Diploma we are taking 150 cadets"
"We want to manage what we can handle, also, we want to make sure that they do not go out flooding the labour market"
"We are also sourcing for books of reference, our library is still undergoing some renovation, after this, we shall visit stakeholders and beg them to help us equip our library with books, we would make sure that on the stands, it is written there that the books were donated by the particular organistion "
"We have restructured. We have implemented, and we have attained 60 percent reforms goals. We are presently sourcing for lecturers, qualified ones, either from home or abroad. DG NIMASA has pledged to help us pay some lecturers we are sourcing for. We shall be engaging the master mariners organisation in Nigeria to help us also" he said.
"We are renovating the classrooms, hostels and the libraries. We are also building a new simulation centre which NIMASA has pledged to help us equip.
"I believe that by the next six months, MAN, Oron will be one of the best maritime academies in the continent.
"We will no longer be begging stakeholders to come and take our cadets after they graduate. We will equip our cadets and make them very attractive that stakeholders will come demanding for them after graduation”, he assured.