By Joshua Yousouph & Mabel Uyebi
Newly appointed Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron, Commodore Emma Effedua (retd), has pledged to rehabilitate the institution by returning it to its glorious past as one of the most admired and respected maritime academies in the West and Central African sub-region within one year.
Commodore Effedua, who made the declaration in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, when he hosted members of the House Committee on Maritime Administration and Education, said: “I am here to change the narrative where cadets of the academy are regarded as half-baked and unemployable. When this Academy was established 40 years ago, it was the pride of the African continent. It was established at the same time countries such as South Africa, Ghana and Egypt also came up with their maritime academies, but 40 years down the line, we are 100 poles apart because we did not do the right things. We relegated standards and competence to the background and turned out cadets that cannot compete with the best in the world.”
Speaking with the House members, Effedua said that in years past, graduates of MAN, Oron were regarded as one of the best in Africa as most of them got top flight positions in blue chip companies in the maritime and oil and gas sectors but unfortunately, this narrative had since changed.
He blamed the declining fortunes of the Academy on poor and inadequate learning infrastructure, ill-equipped and motivated staff coupled with distractions from the host community.
Similarly, Mr Mohammed Bago, Chairman of the Committee urged the Rector to justify the confidence reposed in him by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He described Effedua’s appointment as a wakeup call, adding that considering his background as a Naval officer, he was convinced the Rector has what it takes to turn the institution around.