Effedua Honours PMB, VP, Gov. Udom, Okpo etc
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Last week Thursday, landmark projects and state-of-the-art training facilities put in place by the management of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron in the past three years was commissioned by the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki and leading government officials.
As highlight of the commissioning, Rector of the Academy, Commodore Duja Effedua (Rtd) as a mark of honour, named some buildings and roads in the Academy after President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Femi Osinbajo, other distinguished Nigerians, including prominent industry players.
Projects commissioned include the Simulators Training Centre, Smart Classrooms, Library, ICT Centre, Faculty Blocks, Sporting Arena, Academy Jetty, Hotels etc. While the newly improved Academy Jetty was named after President Buhari, the state-of-the art Academy Auditorium was named after the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, even as the Academy’s sprawling Sporting Arena was named after Senator Gbemi Saraki .
While the Academy Berth facility was named after President Buhari, its Sporting facilities was named after Senator Saraki, Female Hostel was named after industry personality and maritime law juggernaut, Mrs. Mfom Usoro, just as the Academic Auditorium named after Hon. Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu.
The gender balancing in the distribution of awards has in the list Senator Zainab Kure, Dr. Magdalene N Ajani, Margaret Orakwusi, Folorunsho Alakija, Ify Akerele, Nneka Obiamjor, Jean Chiazor Anishere, and Angela P. Udofe.
It is noteworthy that amongst those honoured were three former Rectors of MAN, Pastor Nseyen Ebong, late Engr. Anthony Ishiodu and late Ambassador Joshua Enun Okpo.
In particular, some projects and structures were also named after Chief Adebayo Sarumi, Capt. Adamu Biu, and Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, including late Capt. Biu who were members of the defunct MAN Interim Management Committee, whose contributions according to Effedua helped set the Academy on the path to evolving into world-class maritime training institution.
Top government dignitaries at the event include the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, Chairman Board of MAN, Rear Admiral Jacob Ajani (Rtd), House of Representatives Committee Chairman, Marine Transport and Education, Hon. Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu, etc.
The CNS represented by Rear Admiral Sulaiman El-Ladan said “the need for robust synergy to move the Academy forward is critical, and that is the reasons there are so many people from both government and the organized private sector here to commemorate this launch.
”The Nigeria Navy is a key stakeholder in MAN, in fact the Academy is our baby and the Navy will continue to partner with it to ensure that we carve out our markets in merchant shipping and seafaring.”
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki who commissioned the projects, thanked Effedua for the honour on behalf of all the recipients’, describing the projects as significant and capacity orientated.
Also honoured is Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom, Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, former Chairman Board, Amb. Demola Seriki. Also on the list is Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho , Sen. Danjuma Goje, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Hon Umar Bago, Hon. (Capt) Ajao J. Adejumo, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, Alhaji Danjuma Dauda, Capt. Alao Tajudeen, and Capt. A. F. Assad.
Others are Engr. Olu I. Akinsoji, Cdre Ibrahim Hussien, Capt. Ime Ned Ntiaidem, Capt. David A. Onoja, Engr. Okon Edward Bassey, Capt. Ahia Okechukwu Elijah, Ezihe Emmanuel Chinagorom, and Otunba kunle Folarin.
Speaking on the growth trajectory and future of the Academy, Senator Saraki expressed missed feelings about perceived past wastages, and the issues of apparent master-servant relationship in the funding of MAN tied to the statutory five percent of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The Minister of State said she expects unquestionable release of the fund due to MAN from NIMASA, as well as the resolution of associated issues such as what constitutes the five percent, whether net or gross earning, and the manner and way it is released without politicking and without an air of bigmanism.
She said, “There are many things that have not been answered; the funding, the amount, the remittance, how it’s done and when it should be done. Luckily the National Assembly is also here, it is a problem that will get a lot of input. We had this issue when I was in the National Assembly. I am now in the executive and we are still having the same problem. But now I happen to be on this side and also have my sister on that side (Hon Lynda Ikpeazu), so we will sit together independent of the maritime academy and NIMASA to look for a permanent solution.
“Sometimes it seems we have problems understanding or playing around with English. We will make it very simple for everybody so there are no grey areas. We will take a holistic view to make it clear; nobody can say they were confused, that they thought they were in net or in gross or it was at their discretion.
“Obviously, the way it is now, people are misunderstanding the issues, perhaps in the past I know for sure that previously some have played with it, delayed it, some have asked the maritime academy that they want to come and oversight, and that’s not for NIMASA to do.
“That’s the beauty of having oversight of the National Assembly; it’s not just about funds, but to see the acts of the law and to see if it’s working, which clearly isn’t. We are going back to the drawing board to look at it and see the best way we can put an end to this issue.”