•Urges Completion of project
Even though the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Badagry, Lagos state is becoming a white elephant project, the traditional ruler of the ancient town, Akran of Badagry, Aholu Menu Toyi has commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for citing the second maritime academy in the town.
The traditional ruler expressed the appreciation last week at the one day seminar on seafaring which was put together by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in collaboration with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
While pleading for the completion of the project, the idea of which was first mooted in 2007, the traditional ruler expressed happiness that NIMASA was giving attention to manpower development and training.
The academy is located in an obscured corner within the phase two complex of the government –owned Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) in Topo village in the ancient city of Badagry, the maritime institution has been abandoned since 2008.
About=N=250Million has so far been spent on building but the few buildings which represent the Academy are sandwiched between the staff school of ASCON and the college’s hostel facilities.
The structures are worse than they were when Shipping Position Weekly visited the site in February, 2008. Last week when our correspondent visited again, he still saw an expanse of land with about three buildings overgrown with weeds. The site which is expected to transform into the second maritime academy in the country remains unknown even to residents and indigenes of Topo, it has no gates of its own and can only boast of a block of six flats and a twin bungalow.
The issue of a second maritime academy in Badagry, Lagos has been a very touchy one for which indigenes of Oron, Akwa Ibom State as well as the Governor of the state, Mr Godswill Akpabio have openly protested.
At the 2007 passing out parade for graduates and cadets of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, the Governor Akpabio openly kicked against it with an appeal to the then minister of state, water transportation, Prince John Emeka to cause the federal government to have a rethink.
He had pleaded that rather than create a parallel academy in Lagos state; the Oron academy should be well funded and assisted to get more of its courses accredited.
Similarly, the institution’s rector, Mr. Nseyen Ebong had at the occasion lamented that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is deliberately starving the academy of funds.
But government has since declared that at least two more academies would be established to meet the admission needs of Nigerians who are desirous of seafaring as a career.
Apart from the N250Million which has been spent, there are allegations that former President Olusegun Obasanjo also approved another=N=300Miilion from the Education Trust Fund (ETF).