“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another”. – Seth Godin
The turbulent times at Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, seems to be over as the academy shows promising signs that could return it to the glorious days when it produced some of the best seafarers for the nation.
Since the members of the interim management committee concluded the task and handed over the recommendations to the Rector, Mr. Duji Efedua who was also a member of that committee, not much was heard about the activities at the Academy until the Rector attended the 70th anniversary celebration for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which held in Lagos, last week.
Although the interim committee announced that the academy is presently operating in accordance with the instruments that established it, noting that the blueprint which was left behind will be useful instruments for the board as well as the rector for the academy’s accelerated development, the assurances of the Rector last week was soothing.
Speaking at the event, Efedua revealed that with effect from the next admission, the number of intakes would be slashed to ensure quality instead rather than quantity as the academy begins a new era of training of cadets in line with global best practices and to meet international standards.
The Rector also disclosed that plans were already in place to build the academy’s simulation centre, a burden which has affected the institution for more than a decade.
According to Effedua: “For the new intakes expected to be admitted in our next admission programme, we will be deviating from what used to be where cadets are admitted based on political or whatever affiliations. For instance, we used to admit between 1,200 and 2000 cadets per stream. That won’t happen anymore. In our next admission, we are taking only 88 cadets for the National Diploma level and about 150 for the Higher National Diploma level.
He explained that about 60percent of reforms have been implemented. “We have restructured. We have implemented, and have attained 60pwrcent reform goals. Presently, we are sourcing for lecturers, qualified ones both from home and abroad. We are remodelling the classrooms, the hostels and the library. We are also building a new simulation centre which NIMASA has pledged to help us equip. NIMASA has asked us to set up a three-man committee to work on the simulation centre. I believe that by the next 6 months, MAN Oron will be one of the best academies in the continent.
He stated that the stakeholders would no longer be cajoled to take MAN Oron cadets onboard vessels after they graduate because the academy would be so revered that the cadets would be attractive and stakeholders will come scrambling for them during their graduation.
“We hope the next World Maritime Day will be hosted in the Maritime Academy of Nigeria auditorium which is being newly built. We are having our graduation in the next three weeks, and we will like the maritime stakeholders to come and see for themselves what has transpired in the academy in the last six months,” he added.
In few months, the Rector has steered the academy to a new direction addressing some of the problems highlighted by the interim committee such as; substandard structures, inadequate curriculum, incentives for employing professionals to enhance professional trainings, among others.
Is Nigeria going to see a new ‘MAN Oron’ whose cadets would be pride of the nation? Has MAN Oron’s fortunes and reputation taken a beautiful positive change?