Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Joshua Okpo said the institution is ready to transmute into a degree awarding institution.
Okpo said this when members of the Association of Former Elected Counsellors (AFECO) in Oro Nation visited him.
He said that with the curriculum upgrade, collaborations with international agencies for cadets Sea Time Experience, infrastructural and manpower development in the Academy, the present Management was laying a formidable foundation for the smooth transmutation to university status.
He explained that the Academy being a Nautical College with a special mandate to train seafarers who would man the wealth of the Gulf of Guinea, is different from ordinary polytechnics, hence the reason behind its being under the Federal Ministry of Transport instead of the Ministry of Education.
Analysing further, Okpo emphasised that the Academy’s degree awarding status would not follow only the NUC’s Model but a global model which combines National Diploma, Higher National Diploma, Degree and PGD levels.
He stressed that cadets who would not be able to further their training after the ND level could still work anywhere in the world after acquiring the Certificate of Competence (COC), which is internationally recognised and accepted.
He asserted that the cost of training one cadet in a year on a compulsory sea time experience is N8 million and that the N500 Million NUC grant would not be enough to fund this project alone, not to talk of other expenditures.
He therefore urged the cooperation and support of all stakeholders to enable all work as a team to realise the ultimate goal of transforming, repositioning and upgrading the institution.
The Rector went further, noting, “I did not come to build an Academy that will stop at my time. We owe our generation a duty not to loot but to build, so I implore all stakeholders just like your group has done today, to join hands with us and offer us a shoulder to lean on and not try to pull the Academy down”.
Responding, the AFECO President, Hon. Okon Iyohokwa commended Okpo for his rare leadership style and great administrative acumen.
He noted that the giant strides recorded by the Rector will serve as a springboard through which the institution will be upgraded in status.
The group noted the dotting of the landscape of the Academy with high quality and relevant structures.
The AFECO President further pledged the group’s unalloyed loyalty and support towards the realisation of the Academy’s upgrade.
He stressed, “Based on your antecedents, we the former Councillors in Oro ethnic nationality do solemnly pledge our unalloyed loyalty to the Amb. Joshua Okpo led administration.”
Iyohokwa expressed satisfaction over the developmental pace showcased by the administration of Joshua Okpo and called on the Federal Government for continuity, observing that, “Having justified the first mandate, it is our plea that the Rector be considered for a second term.”
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