Merchant Seaman Academy Duly Recognized by Federal Government, Says Management


Bemoans Closure by Nigerian Navy 

Okon Bassey in Uyo

The management of Merchant Seaman Academy in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State is set to re-open school for full academy activities.
The operatives of the Nigerian Navy, NNS Jubilee, Ikot Abasi in the state had in February closed down the academy, alleging it to be an illegal institution.

The management of the new maritime school a press briefing on Saturday, argued that the institution was fully accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to train professional seafarers in Nigeria and run approved maritime courses.

The proprietor of the academy, Mr Adams Pius, announced that the academy earlier closed by the Nigerian Navy, would reopen for classes on May 22, insisting that the institution was recognised by Federal Ministry of Education.
According to him, the institution was affiliated to several professional bodies and offered National Diploma courses in Security Management Technology and Shipping Management.
The academy, he added was also recognised by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); and properly registered with certificate of incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission.

“The students write Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to enter the school. We started three years ago and have passed out students.
“This is purely a training institution; it is not a naval outfit.

The country is lacking trained professional seafarers, we are not using naval uniform,” Pius stressed.

Speaking for the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Association, Mr Alfred Oniye, claimed that the invasion of Merchant Seaman Academy on Feb. 9 by the operatives of the Nigerian Navy was totally illegal.
Oniye, who is the vice chairman of the association based in Lagos, said that the proprietor of the academy was a registered member of the association’s zonal Shippers Council and that the institution was licensed.

Describing the closed down of the school as “act of trespassing and unconstitutional”, he threatened that the association would take legal action against the Nigerian Navy for embarrassing its member in his legitimate business.
The Nigerian Navy had stormed the institution in the month of February and arrested the proprietor along with other staff members while the students numbering 95 were sent home on grounds that the institution was unqualified to be merchant navy academy.

The Executive Officer at NNS Jubilee, Capt. Mudiaga Ejumabone, who led the operation to close down the school, had told newsmen that the Merchant Seaman Academy was not an approved institution.
 Ejumabone said that the only institution that trained merchant navy in the country was Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transport.

He stated that the merchant seaman academy did not have any legal backing to operate and was neither registered nor approved by the Ministry of Transport as maritime training institution.

APC Can’t Win Anambra Guber Poll, Says Odunze 

Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Chineme Okafor in Abuja

Frontline Anambra state politician and businessman, Okechukwu Odunze, has described moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to make inroads into the South East by winning the Anambra election as futile exercise due to the overwhelming support the incumbent governor, Chief Willie Obiano enjoys.

He also asked those harboring the idea of rigging the governorship election to drop such idea because the people of the state are solidly behind Obiano’s re-election.

Odunze, who declared his support for the re-election of Obiano, saturday in Abuja, stated that from the records of Obiano’s first tenure, the governor has built for himself an incredible political mileage that would make it very difficult for him to be rigged out if that was the plan of opposing political parties and contestants.

The one-time governorship aspirant in the state under defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) asked all the governorship aspirants to unite and support Obiano’s re-election bid irrespective of their political affiliations, adding that under Obiano, Anambra has made remarkable progress in all its developmental facets.

“We all know ourselves, but we don’t know how to rig. Let the people decide, we want to vote and we know we have massive support.
“Nobody can rig elections where I am. Obiano is already an institution and can win the election on his own, how much more when fearless politicians are with him, who then can rig,” said Odunze.

According to him: “Willie Obiano’s ingenious leadership at a time like this in the history of Nigeria is unprecedented and cannot be compromised on the altar of primordial sentiments or political grandstanding.”

APC Elders: We Won’t Back Aspirant that will Relegate Us in 2018

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The All Progressives Congress(APC) Elders’ Forum, has declared that
the body will not supports any aspirant that would start muzzling the body after the party’s primary for the 2018 governorship poll in Ekiti State.

The forum expressed resentment at the level of under-utilization of
the body, which was supposed to play advisory role in the party.

The forum gave the threat in Ado Ekiti, on Satuday, when a
governorship aspirant, Engr Kayode Ojo paid them a visit to seek their support.

The Forum’s Chairman, Elder Yemi Alade, who spoke on behalf of the
body said: “We will only support an aspirant that will give us
recognition, because we have been disrespected so well.

“As we speak now, many of us are pensioners and our pensions were not
being paid as and when due. So, we won’t allow our rights to be taken
away in APC. We will defend it by standing by an aspirant that will
see us as a force to be reckoned with”.

Ojo, who lauded the elders for their perseverance, said he will treat
the elders with utmost respect and dignity if elected governor.

The governorship hopeful assured that he would tap from their wealth
of experience by giving them pivotal roles to play in his government ,
 while also encouraging the party to engage them in leadership
positions for smooth running of the party.

Centre Offers Affordable, Corrective Eye Surgery 

Adibe Emenyonu Benin City

The Managing Director, African Eye Laser Centre, Benin, Dr. Godwin Stanley Okoye, has promised to ensure that people suffering from eye problems get solutions at affordable rates.

Okoye made the pledge in Benin City, during the official presentation of the first set of 214 patients that had successful surgery to correct their eye defects at the Sapele Road based health facility yesterday.

The United States of America trained eye specialist disclosed that the health facility is the first of its type in the South/South geopolitical region of the country, adding that apart from been equipped with modern day gadgets, it also boasts of competitive price regime.

While affirming that the facility to date had been able to achieve a 100 percent success in its operation, Okoye said that the outfit is on the way to achieving more milestones in the near future with the acquisition of more top-of-the-range equipment.

He said that the facility has the vision of helping to stop capital flight in the health sector and also help to boost tourism in the sector.

Kano to Generate 50 Megawatts Power Supply 

Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

Kano State Deputy Governor and the chairman of the Committee on Kano Golden Jubilee Celebration, Professor Hafiz Abubakar has disclosed that all is now set to commence the generation of 50 megawatts power supply through the use of solar energy in the state.

Abubakar, who disclosed this at a press conference yesterday ahead of the Kano 50 years anniversary, said that Kano will also witness its second Economic Summit, designed to unlock the key for economic prosperity in the state.

He also stated that the Golden Jubilee anniversary will be celebrated with a N140 million golden monument which is constructed at Lodge Road roundabout, directly opposite Government House.

“We are determined and committed as a government, to fully explore all the possibilities presented by this moment to lay a solid foundation for glorious and prosperous years to come.

“In this connection, the 2nd edition of Kano Economic and Investment Summit with the theme: ‘Transforming the Economy of Kano State: Turning Challenges into Opportunities,’ will hold where key stakeholders are billed to make a wide range of presentations on how to unlock the key to economic opportunities in the state.”

On the power project, Hafiz said already the state government is in collaboration with a conglomerate named Blackrhino Group to ensure the generation of 50 mega watts through solar energy.

Hafiz expressed the optimism over the success of the power generation project, noting that Kano with its mass sunshine posses the potentials that would propel the projects to success.

According to him, the capacity to generate 50 megawatts would resuscitate the ailing industrial sector, and will lead to job creation and robust economy.