FG Moves to Upgrade Maritime Academy to Degree Awarding Institution
28 Apr 2012
Federal Government has set up a committee to upgrade Academy of Maritime of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Akwa Ibom state to University status.
To this extent, Akwa Ibom State Government has approved 31 hectares of land in the bid to facilitate the upgrading of the Academy to a Maritime University.
Idris Umar, Minister of Transport who gave the hint at 2012 Passing out Parade (POP) and Graduation ceremony of the institution, disclosed that Akwa Ibom State government also allocated a large parcel of land to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for the development of the Ibaka Deep Sea Port.
He explained that the Committee which is to be inaugurated in few weeks time, will, among other things, see to the upgrading of the academy’s syllabus so that it can produce globally accepted professionals.
His words "I will inaugurate the committee within the next four weeks. An Executive Bill will also be presented on the issue to the National Assembly as soon as the Committee completes its assignment."
The minister who lauded the efforts of the Academy in bridging human capacity gaps in the maritime sector, offered automatic employment to 23 graduates from the Academy in recognition of their outstanding performance in their various disciplines.
He noted that the institution which was established in 1979, has continued to grow from its humble beginning as a nautical college, offering only a few courses, to a full-fledged Maritime Academy, stressing that "the Academy now caters for a variety of Industry needs, including courses in Nautical Science, Marine Engineering, Maritime Transport and Boat/Ship Building Technology at both the National and Higher National Diploma levels.
Other courses offered are Post Graduate Diploma in Shipping Technology, Shipping Management and Specialized Seamen Training.
In addition, the Academy caters for the immediate Manpower Development needs of the Industry through Special and Tailor-made Courses as well as a Youth Empowerment programme of Training in Industrial Safety, Welding & Fabrication, Instrumentation and others.
According to the minister, the Academy since inception has trained over 4,000 Merchant Navy Officers and others for both shipboard and shore-based operations, over 6,500 personnel for Coastal, Inland Waters, and off-shore operations and over 12,000 on Basic Safety/Special Courses for all forms of Marine operations.
He said "from every indication, the Academy has remained relevant, and responsive not only to the needs of the Maritime Industry, but also, to those of its host communities. This is indeed commendable. I therefore urge the management of the Academy not to relent but, continue to strive for higher achievements in keeping with the mandate to train all levels and categories of manpower required for the efficient and effective operations of all facets of the Maritime and allied industries.
"Considering the widely reported global shortage in the supply of various categories of qualified Maritime personnel, the Maritime Academy, Oron, is in a unique and strategic position to prepare more young Nigerians for employment in the Maritime Sector, both at home, and abroad.
"This is certainly the way to go, and it is definitely in line with Mr President’s Youth Empowerment Programme, of training and placing young Nigerians in gainful employment so that they can contribute their quota to national development whilst earning a decent living for themselves and their families."