THE Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) recently toured facilities in the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, pledging to partner the Academy in the area of sea time training for cadets.
Addressing the management of the academy after the facility tour, the SOAN President, Dr Mk George Onyung, emphasised that the decision by the organisation to visit and also support the Academy in critical areas of needs was motivated by the commitment of the present management and the rapid transformation that the Academy has witnessed recently.
According to Dr. Onyung, “Let me first commend the Rector and his management team for their vision, commitment and taste for quality. What I have seen is a sharp contrast to the previous stories of poor management, obsolete or complete lack of quality infrastructure, dearth of modern training equipment, half-baked Cadets and inadequate professionals to handle core maritime courses.
“I can now say that the Academy has a future. It is on course. I am quite satisfied. This is what gives us the courage and incentive to encourage this institution the more. It all points to the fact that with the right person in the right place, things can work in this country.
“The cadets are our collective succession plan. There is no moral justification for us not to have them properly trained on board and other areas. Giving them adequate training and exposure will also boost the maritime industry and create more opportunities for exports. We must have competent hands to handle our ships and equipment.
“This Academy therefore cannot be toyed with. We all must be seen as stakeholders and shareholders. It is therefore our determination to support you, and we sure will, particularly in connection with vessels for seatime. ” the SOAN President, who was accompanied on the visit by the Chairman, Technical Committee of SOAN, Dr. Lucky Akhiwu, stated.
In his remark, the Rector of the Academy, Commodore Duja Effedua, explained that with this possibility of seatime training, the benefiting cadets will become exposed to real and practical life on sea, an experience which they never had but which is primarily designed to boost their competency and make them marketable across the world in line with international best practices.
He noted that, like some other projects, the survival pool that has just been remodeled and completed had been abandoned for 19 years. He maintained that his dream is to have foreign Cadets and other maritime professionals in the Academy.
As part of the facility tour, the SOAN boss visited the 1000 capacity auditorium complex equipped with sophisticated facilities, Simulation centre, library complex and resource centre all remodelled and completed by the Effedua administration.
Other places visited included the ICT centre, academic block and computerised lecture theatres, twin survival pool and the medical centre.