The Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron in Akwa Ibom State, Commodore Duja Effedua (rtd), yesterday said they have blocked corruption and leakages in the institution to reposition it for superior academic performance.
According to him, “I didn’t get extra funding to do what you have seen here; it is just that I blocked leakages in the system, and when you do that, corruption will fight back. The corrupt people and staff from within and outside are the cabals who benefited from the Academy and milked it dry.”
Effedua told journalists during a tour of the academy yesterday that: “When we came in, the Academy was in a near-collapse. We are here to add value, not to steal money.
“I am here to reposition the Academy, because the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was at the verge of shutting down this institution, and if they had done it, imagine the rate of unemployment in the area.
“Eighty percent of the funds sent by the federal government were always looted by the staff and the resident cabal within the environment, and some of them in Abuja, and that was why there was no progress in 39 years. The magic you saw now is more than three years job.
“Now we are the best in Africa in terms of equipment, and we are struggling to be best in the world. Also, we have trained our men to handle our equipment.”
The rector explained that fiscal discipline and administrative and academic restructuring have proven key in the system even as its cadets are now better rated and have become fellows of the prestigious Nautical Institute in the United Kingdom.
He added that he paid 97 percent of the debts he inherited while none of the over 50 court cases against the institution was successful.
According to Effedua, “I inherited over 50 court cases and they kept coming up, and not even one of those who took us to court won. There are other contractors who finished their work and were not paid, even while the Academy was still being funded.”