By Godfrey Bivbere
Rector of the nationâ€™sÂ premier maritime training institution, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron in Akwa Ibom State, Engineer Ebung has said that the countryâ€™s re-admission into the International Maritime
Organisation (IMO) in 2001 was based on the assessment of the academy by the world body.
Disclosing this in an exclusive interview in office recently, the Rector explained that the admission of any country into the IMO white list was based on the implementation of every aspect of the international convention on Standard of Training, Certification and Watch-Keeping 95 (STCWâ€™95).
Eboung said that the process for the re-admission was championed by the present Minister of Foreign Affairs who was then Minister of Transport, Chief Ojo Maduekwe and it was based of the report of the activities of MAN, Oron.
According to him, â€œWhen a member country is admitted into the IMO white list, it means that the country is seen to be giving full and complete effect, note what I am saying or you can phone the IMO or you can visit them on their website.â€
â€œIt means that, that country is seen and known to be giving full and complete effect to the salient provision of the the international convention on Standard of Training, Certification and Watch-Keeping 95 (STCWâ€™ 95) to which Nigeria is a signatory.Â So when they admitted Nigeria into the IMO white list in 2001, what does it mean, it means international accreditation of MAN Oron by IMO.â€
He however explained that a lot of people who run down the academy are doing so for their selfish reasons. Most parastatals in the maritime sector who not want to send their staff to the academy for even the basic safety cause because they would not benefit anything from it. They always prefer to travel abroad because of the foreign estercode that comes with it.
In his words, â€œNo Nigerian goes to Ghana for training or for any thing apart from estercode. If you tell a maritime parastatals in Lagos, take your staff to Man Oron for training on basic course, he wouldnâ€™t come because there is no ester-code.â€
â€œHe will seat down in the account department, they select twenty of their staff, they will go and stay in Ghana because once you come into Benin Republic estercode follows.Â It is the long throat that we have developed for monetary benefits, for estercode that has spoiled this country.â€
He noted that he had been part of several committees which have visited other maritime institutions in other countries like Ghana, Malaysia, India etc and that he has prepares a position paper on the findings.
He further stated that most people who criticize MAN, Oron do not even know what is on ground there at the campus.
He charge critics of the academy to visit the institution to get first hand knowledge of the facility and structures that are available at the academy.