Maritime Academy of Nigeria Rector under fire

*Group accuses him of ineptitude, financial recklessness

MaritimeMkpoikana Udoma 16 August 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Mr. Joshua Okpo, the rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron, Akwa Ibom State has come under the attack of a youth group known as the Amalgamated Oro Youth Force in Oron, which has levelled allegations bordering on immoral conduct, incompetence and financial misappropriation against him.

In a letter dated August 3, 2015 to the rector, the group accused him of spending over N8 billion in the past four years with nothing to show for such huge amount of money in the school. The group’s petition was signed by its President, Comrade Francis Otioro and Secretary, Comrade Victor Eyo.

The Amalgamated Oro Youth Force, which kicked against Okpo’s tenure renewal gave him one week to resign from the academy.

The group alleged in the letter that last year, the rector in the company of five directors of the Academy – namely Mr. Mkpandiok, Mr. Okona, Mr. Okorie, Mrs. Ikara and Capt. Balogun – travelled to Sweden under the pretence of affiliating Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron with the world Maritime University, Malmo, Sweden.

The letter continued: “In Malmo, Sweden, you, Mr Joshua Okpo was asked whether there was basic safety training courses such as Standard of Training, Certification & Watch keeping (STCW) and Quality Control Unit (QCU) facilities in place in Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.  And you deliberately denied that there were no such facilities in the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, whereas those facilities had been in the academy since in the days of Engr. Olu Akinsoji and Mr. Nse Ebong both former rectors of the institution. None of your Directors debunk your lies, except Capt. Balogun”.

The group accused Mr. Okpo of expending N9 million in 2014 in organising a christmas festival, whereas staff claims were yet to be paid for nearly three months.

It also alleged that the rector “invited nearly 9,500 intending students for examination and collected N10,000 each as exams fee that amounted to nearly N95,000,000 and later shortlisted 6,000 and collected N20,000 each for medical fees that amounted to about N120,000,000,” urging that he be asked to account for the monies.

Mr. Okpo, according to the group, “also withdrew another N16,000,000 for an award ceremony of Ambassador of Peace at Calabar” as has ‘collected more that eight chieftaincy titles with each of them causing the Academy more than five million naira”.

It alleged that Mr. Okpo was making life “unbearable for both students and parents of the Maritime Academy by introducing non-accredited courses like Hydrology, Meteorology and Electrical/Electronic into the Maritime School System in which students graduate without results”.

It accused the rector of appointing his wife, Mrs. Ado Ansa, as his special assistant and assigning to her duties of awarding minor contracts, which was previously handled by the office of the registrar.

Besides, the letter further alleged Mrs Ado Ansa also acts as the rector’s exam officer and faculty officer who encourages extortion of money from students.

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