The Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron (AMANO), has warned the Federal Government over the proposed plans to convert the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, into a conventional university during the process of upgrading the academy into a degree-awarding institution.
AMANO said the academy could only be upgraded to a degree-awarding institution but not a conventional university, which could relegate it to unnecessary strikes, like other universities in the country.
President of AMANO, Emmanuel Maiguwa Gankin, stated this while addressing newsmen in Lagos yesterday, stressing that AMANO backed calls for the academy’s upgrade to a degree-awarding institution, but that it was important for the academy to retain its status as Nigeria’s specialized training institution with a core mandate to train maritime professionals for sea-going and onshore careers who serve the nation’s maritime, shipbuilding, port operations, offshore oil, gas and related industries.
He said: “AMANO does not consider it necessary to convert the academy to 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 the following few examples of schools we (Nigerians) patronize: “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 Nigeria, 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.
He noted that, while this mandate has not changed, the academy has gone through changes geared toward repositioning it for this role through Decree No. 16 of 1988, which placed it on the current status, “Maritime Academy of Nigerian, Oron.” Even as he said the repositioning in 1988 enabled the academy to provide training for shore-based personnel in the maritime, oil and gas industry and other specialized courses.
Gankin said the academy is now getting the attention of stakeholders to reposition it to meet the demands of Nigeria’s dynamic maritime industry.