The House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration has advised the management of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, to sack 83 staff employed in 2016 without due process.
Hon. Mohammed Umar-Bago, Chairman, House Committee, gave the advice when he led a delegation of the committee on an oversight function to the academy in Oron yesterday.
“Rector, the issue of this 83 staff, sack them if their employment did not go through due process, that is how touts are employed. Any employment that does not have approvals means there was never any employment in the first place.
“It does not make sense to have 700 staff in an academy of just 300 cadets. That means the academy is over bloated. I will encourage you to right-size. Even if people don’t like it, it must still happen.”
“Don’t be distracted. There is a triangle in MAN, Oron, the first is gossip. They will gossip about you, about every other person, don’t be distracted.”
Umar-Bago, however, said that if the employment process, after investigations was found faulty with unqualified staff, their appointment should be terminated with immediate effect.
Responding, Commodore Emma Effedua (Rtd) explained that the academy currently has a staff strength of 676 staff, stating that 80 per cent of the staff were indigenes of the community, which was against the Federal Character.
“For the academy, we have 676 staff now. However, when I took over as Rector, I was handed a staff strength of 714 workers which I was not okay with.
“We did head count with not much success and had to do biometrics, where we now had 676 staff.
“For cadets, we have 336 students, but most of them will be graduating between August and October.
“On the issue of the Federal Character in employment processes, it happened a long time ago in this academy. But henceforth, the disadvantaged states will be given first priority in employment processes.
“We will have to slow down on those from Akwa Ibom. It was a deliberate mischief on the part of the past management of the academy, and it is only when it is balanced that it truly reflects a Federal recruitment pattern.
“Even as at 2016, 83 people were employed, and I am sure their employment did not go through the House Committee, Federal Civil Service or even the Ministry,” he said.
The Rector said that 80 per cent of the 83 people employed are from Akwa Ibom, saying the employment process is under investigation right now because there were many illegalities that were observed.