MAN, Oron debunks report of massive resignation of Master Mariners

By Seun Ibiyemi

The Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) has denied claims in a section of the media (not Nigerian NewsDirect) that despite funding from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), many Master Mariners have quit the academy over poor welfare packages and a lack of electricity to their staff quarters.

Addressing the media over the weekend on a series of sponsored allegations against the Academy, the Rector, Commodore Duja Effedua (rtd), revealed that the five percent allocation that statutorily comes from NIMASA to the Academy is based on what NIMASA makes from its clients in a given period of time.

According to Commodore Duja Effedua, “The allegations that Master Mariners are resigning in droves due to poor welfare conditions or a lack of power supply to their quarters are not true. Despite the huge cost of diesel, with a truck going for N30 million, we have been able to utilise the money NIMASA pays to us prudently, and evidence abounds.

“The diesel we purchase is meant for training and not staff leisure. The academy never connected power supplies to the staff quarters before my resumption. The allegations that the academy had a 24-hour power supply each day before my arrival are laughable.

“The sponsor of that allegation forgot to calculate what it would cost the academy to perform that feat with only one generator that was partially functional upon my arrival.

“He failed to verify the narrative of his informants because he is a man on a mission to run down the management while running errands for criminals, who are embedded within the system and outside.

“These persons are pained because it is no longer business as usual where they steal and loot the system as they used to, which is why there is a spike in their petition writings.

“As of the time I resumed in 2017, the academy lacked quality staff. I had to go out of my way to other institutions and establishments, poaching experts, instructors, ICT experts, lawyers, engineers, and they are in the academy, doing a fantastic job.

“Altogether, the academy has employed 109 experts under my watch, and this includes master mariners, chief engineers, and even foreign experts on a contract basis.

“Master Mariners who are active will never come ashore to work, and this is unknown to the person making allegations about Master Mariners leaving the academy in droves. A master mariner who is retired is not expected to be a young man.

“Claims that Master Mariners exited the system in droves are false because those that were mentioned left over three years ago, not at the same time as alleged.

“They even handed over as Directors of the School of Nautical Science to each other over the years while leaving. How is it now possible that they all left in droves?

“The least age among the Master Mariners that resigned from the academy is 75 years. In fact, two Master Mariners who resigned were advised by their families to resign due to old age.

“It is important that a maritime training institution have at least one Master Mariner, but there is no law that says that all lecturers must be Master Mariners.

“The Academy has Master Mariners, and some institutions do not even have them. They only have visiting lecturers who are Master Mariners, and that does not mean they are not qualified to run maritime training. In Nigeria, the academy is still the best.

“We have even noticed a surge in subscriptions due to potential students’ requests. In fact, until December 2024, there is no space to admit additional students, as the available spaces for subscription in 2024 have all been exhausted.

“Therefore, if the academy is doing poorly, as is being alleged, why are we being oversubscribed?

“The Academy is one of the most equipped in Africa today. It is now the major destination for seafarer training. Foreign students from West African countries have started patronising the institution.

“This is a feat for the present management because it has never happened in the 46-year history of the academy.

“No maritime training institution in West Africa has the quality of training equipment available at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria.

“Most potential students have stopped travelling abroad for maritime training as the Academy now has the latest equipment in maritime training.

“This was made possible through the saving of funds that would have been stolen by this cabal sponsoring this spurious allegation.”

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