Save Maritime Academy from imminent collapse, Group begs FG

Akwa Ibom youths under the auspices of the Conference of Oron Youth Leaders have called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to save the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oro, from imminent collapse.

The group noted that the Academy which was established over 40 years ago, has been struggling to achieve the loft goals for which it was set up in spite of various challenges.

Speaking in Abuja, the President of the Akwa Ibom youths, Etifit Nkereuwem called on the Federal Government to properly equip the Academy with the needed facilities.

He noted that the planned upgrade of the Academy to a degree -awarding institution has been delayed but appealed that the government should invest in the institution to avoid collapse.

Nkereuwem said, “We know that the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, like others in other parts of the world, cannot compete effectively without proper training of Cadets.

“We, therefore, appeal to the Federal Government to equip the Academy with the needed facilities like training vessels to enhance cadets’ compulsory sea time training and related areas of professional development, in line with International Maritime Organisation’s standards.”

He stated that no indigene of Oron community had been appointed as the substantive rector of the Academy, adding that the Acting Rector has been occupying the position since August 2016.

“Having acted in the office since August, 2016 with verifiable achievements, an indigene of the host community, Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok should be given opportunity to head the Academy,” Nkereuwem contended.

While admitting that Nigerians from other parts of the country could aspire to head the Academy, the youth leader insisted that it was only fair to appoint a qualified Oron indigene as the Academy rector.