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Sins of the past fighting me – Maritime Academy Rector, Effedua

Sins of the past fighting me – Maritime Academy Rector, Effedua

Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State, Commodore Duja Effedua (Rtd.) has disclosed that the biggest challenge he encountered in a bid to reposition the institution was to tackle the sins of the past in-terms of corruption which had wrecked the institution.

It could be recalled that Maritime Academy Oron established in 1971 was seen as a cash cow ridden with infrastructural and academic deficit which made the International Maritime Organisation IMO threatened to shut down the institution.

But the Rector of the institution, Commodore Effedua in a chat with newsmen on Wednesday after a project tour, explained that the massive infrastructural, administrative and technical improvements in the last four years have boosted the academic status and image of the institution which made the IMO to change its decisions.

Effedua, who has barely three weeks to conclude his four-year tenure, said he met the school at a stage of near collapse, recalling that while working towards rescuing the institution, cabal within and outside tried putting a stud on the way in terms of writing series of petitions amounting over 6000 which according to him never dettered him.

He noted that blocking fiscal leakages and operational loopholes have enabled his team to achieve the feat recorded and remodelling of the school saying that he never received extra funding or borrowed a loan from anywhere.

His words, “When we came, the academy was in a near-collapse stage. We are here to add value, not to steal money. 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, are cabals who had benefited from the academy and milked the academy dry.

“I am here to reposition the academy and the International Maritime Organisation was at the verge of shutting down this institution and if they had done it, imagine the rate of unemployment.

“The problem in the institution is that 80% of the funds sent by the Federal Government was always looted, that is why there was no progress in 39 years. The magic you saw is a three-year plus job. Now we are the best in Africa in terms of equipment and we are struggling to be the best in the world. we have trained our men to handle our equipment.”

On the allegation that he sacked staff of the institution when he came into office, he said, “When I came here, I met somebody who read forestry, what was he doing here? We also met some with fake certificates, some did not do NYSC before they got the job? Some had a poor attitude to work, 3-4 months they were not coming to work and were collecting salaries. No! things don’t work that way any longer, our biggest challenge are the sins of the past, lots of court cases.

“FG had mandated me to fish them out and I should not do it? I had to stop all those. Some petitioned me to EFCC and ICPC, those guys are not stupid people they did their investigations, they check their files. I received over 6500 petitions but I was not distracted.

“On the operational loopholes, we had 575 staff. 400 from Akwa Ibom, 23 from Cross River, some States nil, in Federal character? I never sacked them. What I did was during recruitment, I tried to balance it behind them.”

“We have over 60 of our courses accredited. They all have free laptops. where did we get the money from, we blocked leakages. They all have books, before they were 18/1 in a room, now we have just two in a room. It’s almost like a two-star hotel. Feeding has been remarkably improved.

Meanwhile our correspondent who joined in the tour observed the massive infrastructural transformation, Multi-functional classroom simulators, state of the art ICT centers, pools for water survival trainings, rebranded medical facility, library, E-library, ongoing structures at rapid construction speed and completed internal roads; the institution has also rebranded its certificates with security features to check racketeering.

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