Engineer Matthew Alalade (Merchant Navy)
My own is that they should allow the people that they have put there to do their jobs. For a long time there has not been federal character at MAN, Oron, so the ministry of transportation is taking steps. So let them allow the man (Rector) to do his job whatever he is doing they should allow him. Let the people there know that Nigeria is for all of us; not for Oron people alone. Let the man do his job the way he feels should be done.
Engineer Ike Chilaka (Marine Engineer)
I know that they have infrastructural problem, I also know that the new person there have not been very active maybe it is as a result of NIMASA. They played a big role in that school maybe that role is reduced now or that attention is reduced. But all I know is that the new Rector there may not been doing very well.
Captain Abel Ogah(Master Mariner)
They have just appointed a new rector and they set up a technical committee to organize before he takes over. Incidentally the new rector is my course mate; we retired from the navy the same time. On the recent arrest, it was so because the recruitment exercise was carried out before he came. So they are trying to rectify the recruitment of some of the staff. They have discovered that some of them didn’t follow the due process before recruitment.
Capt James Falabi (Maritime Security Expert)
When MAN Oron was shut down, we thought the academy was going to be effective, but presently that is not the case, also there were talks that government wanted to turn it into a maritime university. I believe that the problem of MAN Oron is management problem. We have a lot of maritime experts in this country that can serve as a lecturer in the academy, I know many marine engineers, naval architects, captains, and master mariners, so if they want to change it into a maritime university, it should not be a problem, the government should go ahead and do the needful, they should put a team together to run the school. The interim committee set up by Amaechi to revive the academy was headed by Sarumi.
Capt Oluwasegun Oniye (Merchant Navy)
The major challenge of MAN Oron is management problem, when you have inexperienced lecturers, you should expect the academy to produce half-baked students, how many Oron lecturers have a practical sea experience? The simple analogy of this is that, you cannot teach me how to drive a car when you are not a driver, seafaring profession is practical, you are telling me that the cadets in Oron are half-baked, meanwhile the lecturers themselves are half-baked. Secondly, there is no training equipment at the academy. NIMASA is wasting money to train cadets outside the country, they have abandoned the indigenous training institution which is MAN Oron. 10 percent of the money wasted by NIMASA outside this country under the guise of NSDP would have put MAN Oron in a better position, what they sent our cadets to go and train for outside this country can be done in-country if NIMASA had equipped MAN Oron, NIMASA itself has its blame in this, they do not want MAN Oron to grow, this job is practical and there is no training vessel for the cadets, how would you explain to the world that after a four years course, the only time you saw a vessel is on chalkboard and your text books.
Dr. Alade Musa (Freight Forwarder)
The challenge is all about capacity, we have actually jettisoned most of the capacities we have invested so much money on in the past, for example, the Nigerian National Shipping Line, some of the staff by now should have been some of the capacity we are talking about that should be transferring the technical know-how on the younger ones, unfortunately, when these parastatals were being liquidated, we jettisoned the capacity along with the vessels and every other thing. Now, the problem we are having at MAN Oron is lack of capacity, and to start building another capacity now is capital intensive. Although we still have some of these good hands around, all we need to do now is give them some refresher courses on ICT and we start injecting them in our maritime institutions with the aim of transferring knowledge.
Idris Aloma (Seafarer)
The major problem of MAN Oron is the indigenes of Oron town, they are the ones interfering in the affairs of the academy, many of the indigenes see the academy as their own national cake from which they must be collecting money from time to time, they believe that anybody that would become Rector of the school must be a son of the soil. To me this is the major challenge. The best way out is for the federal government to decentralize MAN Oron, we used to have one at Badagry in Lagos, the area is now overgrown by weeds. Secondly, another challenge is lack of lecturers, let the minister of transport bring in maritime industry professionals who are willing to lecture in that academy, let them come onboard.
John Okpono(Merchant Navy)
From the committee reports, they said that the teachers are more than the students. So I think they should follow the standard there is a laid down standard for maritime education on the ratio of cadet to staff. There is also the issue of their employment; I think it should be regularized. Those people who came in through the back door should give way.The school should follow the standard internationally so that our certificates will be recognized. If we have the issue of internal crises at the end of the day it will affect the certificate which will in turn affect the holder.