FG may review appointments at Maritime Academy
By Ajibola Abayomi,
There are indications that the Federal Government may review some of the appointments made at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State already.
Our correspondent gathered that the Chief Adebayo Sarumi-led ministerial committee responsible for advising the Federal Government on how to administer the academy has recommended its complete overhaul owing to some identified lapses.
Sources close to the committee said it frowned at the flagrant abuse of Federal Character principle and alleged less emphasis on academic activities.
The committee is not happy about the lopsided nature of staffing with over sixty percent of academic and non-academic employees of the school being from only one state of the federation.
They stressed that maritime education and training has internationally set standards that must be adhered to if Nigeria must be taken seriously in the comity of maritime nations.
The committee also observed that most of the school’s academic staffers have not been exposed to training and retraining sessions that will expose them to modern training techniques in line with International Maritime Organisation criteria.
A member of the committee who also spoke on condition of anonymity said the school must not be allowed to compromise Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), otherwise called The Manila Convention.
Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi last week inaugurated a five man committee headed by Sarumi, a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, to visit the school and make recommendations within a month, on how best to make it more efficient.
Other members of the committee include Engr. Olu Akinsoji, a former Government Inspector of Ships and Sole Administrator of the academy and Mr. Greg Ogbeifun, Managing Director, Sarzs Shipyard, an indigenous boat building and repair firm.
Meanwhile the senate has commenced a public hearing on the upgrading of the academy to a maritime university with degree awarding status. This is being done alongside a bill for the establishment of Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko Delta State.