The Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State, Commodore Duja Effedua (retd), has disclosed that the Academy was in a state of comatose for 39 years because 80% of funding to the institution was looted by staff and an external cabal in Abuja.
Effedua who stated this on Wednesday in his office while interacting with journalists after a facility tour of the school in Oron, also revealed that 6,000 petitions were written against him since he assumed office in 2017, added that he was not distracted.
The Rector said he did not come to the Academy to fight anyone but to reposition the Academy, which was on the verge of being shut down by the International Maritime Organisation.
He added that though he did not get extra funding for his activities, he was able to save huge sum of money through leakages.
According to him, “We have been able to block operational and financial loopholes, all achievements you have seen so far, the simulators, billions of naira have been sunk and no extra money was given to the institution by the government. We did not acquire loans to execute them but we were able to get the money through blocked leakages.
“You have seen what I have done with my team, we have done significant things in significant times. When we came, the Academy was in a near-collapse. We are here to add value, not to steal money.
“I didn’t get extra funding to do what you have seen here. The corrupt people, the staff from within and those from the outside, they are cabals who had benefited from the academy and milked the academy dry.
“I am here to reposition the Academy and the International Maritime Organisation was at the verge of shutting down this institution and if they had done this, imagine the rate of unemployment.
“80% of the funds sent by the federal government was always looted by the staff and the resident cabal within the environment and some of them in Abuja, that is why there was no progress in 39 years.
“The magic you saw is a job of three years plus. Now we are the best in Africa in terms of equipment and we are struggling to be the best in the world. We have trained our men to handle our equipment,” he said.
He lamented that there was generally a poor attitude to work among the workers while most of them were unprofessional who are not adding value to the Academy.
“When I came here, I met somebody who read forestry, what was he doing here? we also met some with fake certificates, some did not do NYSC before they got the job. Some had poor attitude to work. Our biggest challenge are the sins of the past, lots of court cases,” the Rector stated.
He stated that though there were still room for improvements, his administration had collaborated with relevant bodies both locally and internationally for capacity building for lecturers in the institution.