The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) recently toured facilities in the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, pledging to partner the Academy in the area of sea time training for cadets.
Addressing the MAN management after the facility tour, the SOAN President, Dr. MarkGeorge Onyung, emphasised that the decision by the organisation to visit and also support the Academy in critical areas of needs was motivated by the commitment of the present management and the rapid transformation that the Academy has witnessed recently.
According to Dr. Onyung, “We have heard so much about your unflinching commitment towards the repositioning and restructuring of the Academy. This is my first time in this place since the establishment of this institution more than 40 years ago; but as I arrived here, I was first captured by the ambience of the Academy’s environment that tells the story from the gate.”
Dr. MarkGeorge Onyung noted that he was highly impressed by what he saw, compared to what he used to hear previously. He said the newly completed structures and ongoing ones were bold signatures of the present management.
He added: “Let me first commend the Rector and his management team for their vision, commitment and taste for quality. What I have seen is a sharp contrast to the previous stories of poor management, obsolete or complete lack of quality infrastructure, dearth of modern training equipment, half-baked Cadets and inadequate professionals to handle core maritime courses.
“I can now say that the Academy has a future. It is on course. I am quite satisfied. This is what gives us the courage and incentive to encourage this institution the more. It all points to the fact that with the right person in the right place, things can work in this country.”
Dr. Onyung also promised on behalf of SOAN that the level of collaboration and support for the Academy will be increased to sustain the tempo of the current transformation and futuristic plans for the Academy, especially in the area of seatime training. He pledged that modalities will quickly be developed to strike a strong partnership with other affiliate groups towards ensuring that qualified cadets from the Academy have seatime on vessels.