“I didn’t get extra funding to do what you have seen here, it is just that I blocked leakages”_ MAN Rector

The Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Cmdr. Duja Effedua (Rtd.) has attributed the massive transformation witnessed by the institution to funds retrieved from blocked leakages.

He made this disclosure during his interaction with journalists after a tour of facilities of the Academy in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, Monday.

“When we came, the Academy was in a near-collapse stage. We are here to add value, not to steal money”.

The Rector said that the world-class status now conffered on the institution in terms of infrastructural transformation, facilities upgrade, including the recently acquired simulator and the free laptops to cadets, came through the financial audit which revealed financial loopholes.

He lamented that resources hitherto released to the Academy were allededgly stolen by corrupt internal and external cabals, through over-bloated contract cost, misappropriation of funds and abandonment of projects.

“I didn’t get extra funding to do what you have seen here, it is just that I blocked leakages, and when you block leakages corruption will fight back. The corrupt people; the staff from within and those from the outside, they are cabals who had benefited from the academy and milked the academy dry.

” Eighty percent of the funds sent by the federal government were always looted by some corrupt staff and the resident cabal within the environment and some of them in Abuja, that is why there was no progress in 39 years.

“Our graduates now are better than previous sets because we make them do mandatory courses for free. Everything they have is free because the money they used to steal that they cant steal again is available for use. Our cadets today go home with four to five certificates, they are members of the Nautical Institute UK and Imerest UK. We have over 60 of our courses accredited.

“The margic you saw is three years plus job. Now we are the best in Africa in terms of equipment and we are struggling to be best in the world. we have trained our men to handle our equipments”, he said.

The Rector said he met a huge challenge due to lopsidedness in employment as he inherited 545 members of staff, among whom 380 were non-teaching staff, with just a little above 50 teaching staff, and some from unrelated fields.

“I had to recruit professionals, people who added value and changed the narrative of the place, bringing it to about 120 now. we also met some with fake certificates, some did not do NYSC before they got the job? some had poor attitude to work.

“Our biggest challenge are the sins of the past. We inherited 50 court cases. Not even one of those who took us to court won. I have paid almost 97 percent of old debts. Over 6000 petitions have been raised against me”. he said.

On Corporate social responsibility, the Rector explained that three Secondary schools in the host community, Mary Harney, Methodist Boys High School and a Technical college in Oron were equipped with state-of-the-art ICT centers, even as the academy has also sponsored trainings, seminars for the girl Child, over 500 JAMB forms, school desks for students among others.

The Rector and other management staff of the institution took journalists on tour of facilities of the Academy. Among facilities seen were Multi-functional classroom simulator, state of the art ICT centers, pools for water survival trainings, rebranded medical facility, library, E-library, ongoing structures at varying stages of construction as well as network of internal roads already completed.

The institution has also rebranded its certificates with security features to checkmate racketeering.

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