Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Stakeholders verdicts on Acting Rector’s Administration in MAN, Oron

Stakeholders verdicts on Acting Rector’s Administration in MAN, Oron


From the moment Dr. Mkpandiok Ante Mkpnadiok divinely and meritoriously assumed office as Acting Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, staff of the Academy and close observers who already knew his service antecedents had prophesied about sweeping changes that were to come in the shortest possible time. And as was rightly foreseen, the expected renaissance was almost immediate. 

On my part, I still can recall some of the enlightening lines in the Acting Rector’s memorable remarks: “I have been around long enough in this system to personally know and feel the pains of Cadets and Staff of the Academy. With due recognition and appreciation for the achievements by previous administrations, there can be no pretentions that the vision and dreams of the founding fathers of this great citadel of learning have been stunted and therefore must be revived holistically as a tribute to the past and as a worthy legacy for posterity. Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, must become a global competitor in all ramifications. This can only be done with effective and efficient leadership. This is what I can say for now”. 

In no distant time, available evidence has justified the choice of Dr. M. A. Mkpandiok for the position of Acting Rector and also proved him as a man whose words can be taken as a bond. It is clear that he has chosen action rather than a dozen words. His strategic prioritization has seen him strives to interpret and combine the dynamics of Douglas McGregor’s X and Y theory with Abraham Maslow’s theory of human needs – the physiological, security, social, esteem and self-actualization – for the diverse components of the Academy’s composite communities. That is why and how he has been able to effectively manage both the organizational and personal spaces. 

The following testimonies by staff, Members of the Host Communities, Groups, Government Representatives and the general public over Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok’s resulted-oriented administration are added proofs to the fact.

Following the latest inspection/facility tour of the Academy by the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Mohammed Bago, made the following comments: “Mkpandiok Ante Mkpandiok has upped the ante of performance and demonstrated unflinching commitment to the development of this Academy. 

When we came here last year, some structures were at their various levels of dilapidation, the environment was littered with abandoned projects and facilities were outdated. We however have observed with great delight during the current visit that Mkpandiok has taken practical steps to complete some projects abandoned many years ago, renovated many buildings and upgraded facilities to enhance Cadets training. Because of this, you can be assured that we will support you to do more for the Academy” – (The Leadership Newspaper, Monday, May 29, 2017, p. 40).

Largely based on performance and the prospects he holds out, other individuals and groups have applauded Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok’s giant strides. For instance, a group called, “Conference of Oro Youth Leaders” (COYOL), Akwa Ibom State, in collaboration with Coalition of Civil Societies of Nigeria, in a press conference it held in Abuja on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 made the following observations: “Our findings and open interaction with staff and members of the host communities have proven that Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok has, by virtue of his inclusive leadership and administrative expertise, brought a breath of fresh air to the Academy. 

This has won him the unsolicited goodwill and support of the people. He has stabilized the Academy through his probity and dedication to duties, robust network of public relations, reaction and completion of abandoned projects, staff training/retraining and promotion” (The Nigerian Tribune, Tuesday, 4 July, 2017, p. 33). Based on this, the group, as a matter of fact, pleaded that Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok be allowed to continue and be duly confirmed as substantive Rector of the Academy”. 

Still on grounds of appreciation for the phenomenal achievements recorded by Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok and the need for sustainable incentives for better performance, Members of Akpakip Eyo Abasi Youth Association, in an article published in Daily Sun, Tuesday, August 1, 2017, p. 8; Leadership Newspaper, Thursday, June 22, 2017, p. 14.), remarked: “The entire Youth of Eyo-Abasi Community hereby plead that you use your good offices to engender swift political and legislative moves towards the confirmation of Mr. M. A. Mkpandiok as substantive Rector of the present Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, while the bill is in the process of receiving Executive Assent to the envisaged Federal University of Maritime Studies. This is because of his towering recognition of the Host Community and giant strides in the areas of infrastructural development, programme and project executions in the institution since inception as Acting Rector”. – 

The leadership and administrative exploits of Dr. Mkpandiok Mkapndiok cannot be a mark of mediocrity. Aware of the expectations, he is consistently enhancing and augmenting his intellectual capacities. In July 2017, at the University of Lagos, the European American University (EAU) of Dominca conferred a Doctor of Arts Degree in Educational Administration and Leadership (Ph-D) on Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok. A Statement by the European American University authority had emphasized that Mkapndiok was so conferred with the degree because of his virtues, achievements and positive impact on humanity.     

Then has a flood of commendations and felicitations from members of MAN, Oron and beyond. As reported in The Experience Newspaper, Vol. 1. No.2, July 2017, p. 9), the Director of Corporate Affairs, MAN, Oron, Mr. Siddi E. Mkapndiok, observed: “This is the day the Lord has set aside to do honour to a man in our midst, and I have to, at this point in time, say that the Acting Rector, who is being honored today has by his committed service to his fatherland endeared the Academy to the European American University (EAU). Today, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron stands out as the only Federal Government-owned Maritime training institution in the country and the only one recognized by the United Nations’ maritime Regulatory Body, the International Maritime Organization (IMO)”. 

Also appreciating the footprints of Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok, the Academy’s Bursar and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Folorunsho A. Kayode, testified: “It is not how long but how well. Dr. Mkpandiok has shown to the whole world that he can do more than many academicians when it comes to administration matters. He is a good listener; he always takes my professional advice especially in the area of finance management. He listens to me, so I thank the European American University for fishing him out of the crowd in view of his achievements in the Academy.” (The Experience Newspaper, Vol. 1. No.2, July 2017, p. 9).

On the same appreciative note, Director of Personnel Affairs, MAN, Oron, Mr. Emmanuel Essien excitedly posited: “Here we are today to celebrate the giant we may not have known. Right now, I occupy the office he left for me. For the good number of years I have been in the Academy, I have worked with different administrations, but Dr. M. A. Mkpandiok distinguishes himself. He has the courage to lead people to quality service delivery and he also possesses the charisma which influences his work environment positively.” (The Experience Newspaper, Vol. 1. No.2, July 2017, p. 9).

Because it has been commendations and felicitations all the way, it is therefore understandable why no lover of progress would want to condone anything aimed at tarnishing the character of the Acting Rector or the image of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron. That was why recently, a group of professionals under the canopy of Oro Nation Professionals Forum promptly and mercilessly descended on a sponsored online reports by the Akwa Ibom Libra, attempting to cast a slur on the administration of Dr. Mkpandiok.  

Refuting and describing the report as unfortunate, malicious, unsubstantiated, and baseless in an article jointly signed by its President and Secretary General, Elder Edet Okpo and Barr. Etim Daniel respectively, the group rather appended its vote of confidence on Dr. Mkpandiok Ante Mkpandiok, and stated categorically as follows: “Mkpandiok is an incurable disciplinarian of inimitable integrity who persistently sticks to principles and bravely refuses to “play along” negatively. He defies and has discarded old traditions that were the canker-worms and destructive caterpillars to the Academy’s growth and now operates on a new template” (The Pioneer Newspaper, Monday, July 31, 2017,p. 13). 

It must be stressed that the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, is a Nigerian project and investment that must not be converted into a private estate or administered to please sadistic cabals. The reviewed Federal Government Act that heralded the Academy 40 years ago  clearly stated its vision as follows: “to provide the Merchnat Navy and the and allied industry qualitative education and training  that accords with up-to-date technology, meets national and international standards and satisfies end-user expectations”. 

Whereas dissenting voices of incorrigible cynics and ingrates might still be heard faintly from remote corners, findings have shown that this is perhaps the first time in the life of the Academy that everybody within and beyond has spoken favourably and in unison about a Rector in whom they have found succor, mentoring and inclusive pragmatic leadership. It therefore may be modest to remind die-hard critics and blackmailers that Dr. Mkpandiok Ante Mkpandiok is no less a man than any other. He may be impeccable, but not infallible. He is human. All he needs now is encouragement not concocted stories aimed at distracting him.

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