Okechukwu Ajanonwu Vincent (Port Consultative Council) When Government sets up a committee and the committee comes up with its recommendations, if the minister deems it fit that the same committee should implement the recommendations as approved by the minister, I think it is in order. However, where I have my reservations is where you ask the management committee to run side by side with the rector. The right thing should have been for the management committee to implement its recommendations, then thereafter call the rector to take over, this is to avoid friction on both sides. As for the indigenes clamoring for a son of the soil as their rector, the provision of the institution states that the rector can come from any part of Nigeria, provided the person is qualified and competent to do the job, my concern is for the person to do the job and not where the person comes from, if there is an existing quota given to the indigenes, I have no objection to that, but when it comes to appointments, all we need is somebody who knows the job, who is trust worthy, competent to handle the institution. What happens all over training institutions today is that you see a mediocre going there to mess things up, all they are after is how to enrich themselves and wreck the place.
Capt Enitan Akanbi (Nigerian Seafarer) Restructuring is absolutely needed in MAN Oron, but the Ministry of Transport is handling it with political sentiment. The committee Chairman, Chief Adebayo Sarumi was listed on the NPA dredging international scandal, I can't say how that probe ended, but the integrity of Sarumi has been questioned. I will however condemn the protest from the host community, their argument is completely not valid, they have always wanted to run the school as a community affair, and they have made the seat of Rector in MAN so scary and unattractive. Though, I'm yet to see why Cdr Effedua is preferred over Mr. Mkpandiok, if they think he's not qualified to hold the position at the University standard, they should allow him continue while the school is still what it is and use his long years of experience to work with the committee. This would guarantee a sound result.
Francis Omotosho (Secretary, Nigerian Institute of Shipping) I will support the move because the minister himself knows why he sets up that committee, it is true that a Rector has been appointed for MAN Oron, but the minister also set up a management committee which is very important, the minister is a result-oriented man and he knows why he set up that committee. The indigenes of Oron are the major problem of the academy, they would sponsor their own candidate to be rector of the school and when the Federal Government gives them fund they would misuse the fund.
Capt. Adewale Ishola (Master Mariner)Whether stakeholders support the establishment of the committee or not, it is already in place and it is working, when government sets up a committee, the committee would submit its report; the government would study it and do a white paper for implementation. So if you put in a committee to implement what they recommended, then they should be allowed to implement what they recommended, the government can do whatever they want to do, you cannot fight government. I cannot condemn what the government is doing because there is nothing wrong with the constitution of the committee.
Captain Joseph Awodeha (Master Mariner) Setting up a caretaker committee is the decision of the government and the people who are in the committee are all seasoned seafarers. So I don’t have anything to say on that regards.
John Okpono (Merchant Navy)It all depends on the terminologies. There is a big difference between when someone is acting temporarily and setting up a committee. Captain Biu is a guru in maritime, he is vast. What one also needs to know is the terms and references. But to me it is an abnormality for the indigenes to start saying that they are supposed to produce the rector of the academy because, it is a government parastatal. In so far as it is a government parastatal, anybody irrespective of where the person came from, can head the place since you are qualified. So I want to salute the government for breaking the jink that the academy must be headed by an indigene. I don’t have the terms and reference of the committee, but the essence of a committee is to reconcile the differences. To the committee is good, they should manage the school properly.
Engineer Matthew Alalade (Merchant Navy)The school has been upgraded to a University status, I don’t know why the government is coming up with appointment of a committee and an acting Rector. However, from the Act, appointment of who becomes the Rector should be for somebody who has been there and such a candidate must have served for an upward of 15 years as a senior instructor or lecturer or must have attained a Director position. You cannot just pick anybody from anywhere to be a Rector in an academic institution like MAN Oron. I think the government should toe the line of integrity, if the Minister of Transportation deem it fit that the guidelines must not be followed, he should have found a way to ease out the former administration of the institution and then follow the procedure. What the Minister should have done is to set machinery in motion to graduate that institution to a University status. The fact finding committee set up by the Minister should have fine-tuned how to transit the institution from Polytechnic to University status, now that they are dwelling on Rector rather than talking about Vice-Chancellor, it is confusing.Unfortunately, it is not a good omen for the students there and for the host community. I know the students must have been in disarray now. They don’t know what to do now. I know the activities in that institution will be very low now. So, it is unfortunate that a ministry which is supposed to midwife and to see to a peaceful atmosphere of that institution is aiding crisis in the institution.
Rev Jonathan Nicole (Shippers Association)When there are too many suspicions in a system and the executive think that they can no longer trust the people that are managing the system, they can set up a caretaker committee. So to me there is nothing bad in setting up a caretaker committee. I don’t want to say that the government does not know what they are doing; they know what they are doing. It is only a caretaker committee which is not going to last long, I will advise that we should be patience with them.