The Acting Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Commodore Duja Effedua, has said the institution will stop admitting new applicants from the next academic session.
Effedua, in an interview with our correspondent in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, disclosed that the decision to halt the admission of applicants was due to a wide gap in the ratio of lecturers to students, among other reasons.
He said, “The lecturer-student ratio in MAN is horrible. It is one lecturer to 90 students. Sometimes it is one lecturer to 200 students. The lecturers cannot do much in such circumstance. This is why we decided to stop admission of applicants into the academy this year.
“Also, some of our cadets sleep on the floor. We don’t want anybody to sleep on the floor any longer. We are going to admit between 250 and 270 into the academy.”
In another development, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria Alumni Association described Nigeria’s failure to award a Class 1 Certificate of Competency to seafaring graduates of the institution, after 40 years of maritime training, as sad and depressing.
The President of the association, Mr. Austin Zurike, who spoke with our correspondent on Monday, said that Nigeria had no justification for failing to upgrade facilities in the academic for the award of the certificate.
Zurike also said that globally maritime training had moved away from traditional capacity building system to a more dynamic affair.
Noting that the alumni association had resolved to partner the academy towards the training of world-class seafarers, he said, “Although our alma mater is currently facing some challenges, restructuring is ongoing and there is a bill at the National Assembly to convert it to a university.
“Apart from this, thousands of ex-cadets and recent graduates of the academy are unable to proceed to sea for their sea training. We have many ex-cadets who are roaming the streets without jobs, while many foreigners are manning vessels trading in Nigeria under a Cabotage regime.”
Zurike also wondered if Nigeria would be left behind by the rest of the world at a time other countries were moving away from the traditional and conventional maritime capacity-building system.
He said the country stood to gain a lot, as a resource-rich nation, if it took advantage of its abundant natural resources and human capital and moulded cadets to become the next generation of leading maritime professionals.