The House of Representa
tives Committee on Maritime, Safety, Education and Administration, has expressed its readiness to work towards the development of the nation’s premier and only maritime training institution, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.
Making this known during an interactive session with Academy’s Management at the institution recently, the Committee Chairman, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, said the committee is committed towards the overall development of the institution.
Bago, who stated that the purpose of the visit was basically to condole with the management, staff and students of the academy over the loss of their Rector, Dr. Joshua Okpo, and to familiarise with the academy’s management and environment, as well as perform their statutory functions. He challenged the management to speed up measures aimed at enhancing development and standards in the institution, for the benefit of the nation.
“You have to see us as partners in progress, we have to strengthen our institutions so that this country will move forward, we will make sure this institution is accorded a deserving status,” he stated.
Reiterating the committee’s displeasure over the number of uncompleted projects in the Academy, he said that academy’s contractors would be summoned to a meeting holding in Abuja, stressing that contractors who do not deliver their jobs within the stipulated time frame will have their contracts revoked and the funds recovered.
He warned that defaulters will be prosecuted by the appropriate governmental body, the Economic Financial Crime Commission which is saddled with that responsibility.
The committee chairman charged the management to see the committee as partners-in-progress, assuring them that before the end of his committee’s tenure, all the projects would have been completed, as no new projects will be embarked upon.
“From what we have seen during the facility tour, we have resolved that we will not approve any new project until the ones we have on ground are completed and by the grace of God before the end of my committee’s tenure all the projects will be completed,” he assured.
Bago however expressed worry over the poor utilization of the Academy’s products, in this case the Cadets, and called for suggestive measures to tackle the embarrassing situation urging the management to forward a formal request to the National Assembly for deliberation.
Also speaking, the House Member Representing Ikot Abasi/ Mkpat Enin/ Eastern Obolo Federal Constituency, Hon. Francis Uduyork said the Academy being one of the oldest Maritime training institutions in West Africa deserves to be upgraded to a University and charged the Management to generate a constructive and well-articulated proposal in that respect for presentation to the Committee.
“We as a Committee will work with you to ensure that this institution is accorded a deserving status. I believe this institution is one of the oldest of its kind in West Africa and so there is nothing wrong with it becoming a university, so your articulation in the proposal must be well constructed, so we can move this institution forward,” he stressed.
He averred that the Management could always count on the Committee’s support as the Committee will ensure that things are done rightly.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Registrar of the Academy, Mr. M. A. Mkpandiok had welcomed the visitors to the Academy, noting that their visit was timely given the present state of the institution.
Giving a brief history of the institution, he intimated the Committee that the Academy, despite its constraints, has over the years been able to produce competent personnel operating in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond as well as those marine personnel who drive the Oil and Gas Sector.
The physically elated Registrar expressed optimism in the Committee’s visit observing that it marks the beginning of better things for the Academy and called on the Committee to use the powers within the ambit of the law to upgrade the Academy to the enviable status deserving of an institution of 40 years standing.
Expressing hope in the Committee he said, “The Academy has delivered on its mandate of training competent personnel for the Maritime and Allied Industries, we have trained Master Mariners, Marine Engineers, Maritime Administrators and several other professionals. Development being a gradual process we still have a lot of challenges to surmount to be counted among the comity of maritime academies of the world. But we trust we can get there with your support,” he said.
The House of Representa