The President of the Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron (AMANO) Emmanuel Maiguwa has advised the Federal Government to take cautions over the ongoing proposal to convert the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, into a conventional university, stating that the Institution is better as degree awarding institution as against conventional university, which is capable of relegating the core aims of the establishment of the Academy.
Emmanuel Maiguwa, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Lagos during the week, said that AMANO backs calls for the Academy upgrade to a degree-awarding institution, adding that it is important for the Academy to retain its status as Nigeria’s specialized training institution with a core mandate to train maritime professionals for both sea-going and onshore careers who serve the nation’s maritime, shipbuilding, port operations, offshore oil & gas, and related industries.
According to the President, “AMANO does not consider it necessary to convert the Academy into a conventional university. We are of the opinion that it should retain its name as Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, but upgraded to a degree-awarding institution, similar to “Massachusetts Maritime Academy – United States; Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport – Egypt; Philippines Merchant Marine Academy – Philippines; Maine Maritime Academy – United States.
“Most of these institutions are degree-awarding but did not change their names to university due to their core and peculiar mandates. As a degree-awarding maritime Academy, restructured and strengthened, equipped with state-of-the-art training facilities, and adequately funded, the Academy can further expand its curriculum to cover courses covering the maritime and offshore oil and gas industries. In addition, it can offer parallel degree and professional license courses for different streams of students based on their individual career choices. This is the practice in many parts of the world.”
He explained that Maritime Academy of Nigerian Oron was first established as a Nautical college of Nigeria in 1979, specifically with a core mandate to train shipboard officers and ratings, adding that with the arrival of new equipment and a Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), and other development, the Academy is ready to award degrees.
Maiguwa also stated that the Academy under the current Rector, Commodore Duja Effedua has witnessed tremendous changes which should be applauded. He said that currently, the Academy is getting the attention of stakeholders including the National Assembly to reposition it to meet the demands of the dynamic maritime industry.
“The Job Commodore Effedua is doing in the Academy currently deserves commendation. Also, stakeholders have paid a keen interest towards the advancement of this institution, especially the distinguished Senator Akon Eyakenyi, who is the sponsor of this Bill under review. AMANO has also graciously submitted a memorandum to both House of Representatives in the 8th Assembly and The Senate in the current 9th Assembly with its views on Maritime education being a specialised training endeavor that provides specific expertise and proficiency for the professional licensing and competency required to manage the industry effectively,” he disclosed.
It should be noted that the Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron is presently the foremost specialised institution in Nigeria that provides the full range of professional education and training in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) requirements for the training and certification of seafarers in Nigeria.