The Federal Government has appealed to members of the Marine Engineers and Naval Architecture (MENA) a division of the Nigerian Society of Enginners as well as other maritime professionals to rescue the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron by sharing their wealth of experience and knowledge with the teaching staff of the academy.
Speaking at the 6th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting of MENA in Lagos last week, a member of the Interim Management Committee set up by Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi to restructure MAN Oron, Engineer Greg Ogbeifun said that the committee has discovered the dearth of teaching staff at the academy.
Ogbeifun who is also the President of Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) said that certificates issued to cadets by MAN Oron are no longer acceptable for job opportunities.
He urged the maritime professionals gathered at the event to offer themselves for service by sharing their wealth of experience. The ship owner warned that in five years time, there might no longer be professional maritime engineers in the industry.
“MAN Oron has degenerated to a level where even the OOW (Officer Of the Watch), the first basic maritime publication that you get from there has become a suspect. This government in its wisdom, for the first time in 10 years that some of us have been agitating for attention for that maritime institution, decided to have a look at the institution by setting up a committee to see what can be done”
“The committee was asked to administer the institution for six months and implement the recommendations of the report to restructure and reposition the academy”
“Our generation is a lucky generation, in five years time, if you call for a maritime meeting of experts, you would not find a single marine engineer, and this gives course for worry. We are working round the clock to turn that school around so that our grand children can have a future in this industry”
“From the work we have done so far, a huge gap exists, and that gap has to do with finding people like you and I to support the academic aspect of that school, it is true that we can advertise and have people from different parts of the world to come and teach there, but I want to challenge MENA to open up your doors and see how you can partner with Oron to encourage the few people who are there teaching to see how you can share your experience and knowledge with the teaching staff so that we can raise standard and the quality of the products of that institution” he said