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Maritime Academy Not High Corruption Risk Agency, Says Rector

..." Official Misled ICPC Over Publication"

Cdre Duja Effedua(Rtd) Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria(MAN) has described a recent publication by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) listing the academy among 52 Ministries Department and Agencies as high corruption risk as not a true reflection of what the school stands for.

Effedua who was responding to reporters’ inquiry at a function in Lagos disclosed further that the academy has always treated letters from all government and private agencies with utmost importance, including the ICPC

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According to him the academy responded three times to the same inquiry from the ICPC with repeated requests from the commission for resubmission, which was adhered to

He said the questionnaire sent to the academy by ICPC earlier on March 18,2021 was responded to on July 2, 2021 by email to the address provided as advised by the commission and that the academy under his watch has always treated all such mails with seriousness they deserve.

Another letter making the same request to the academy was sent by the commission on December 12, 2022, which was formally received on December 22, 2022, when the academy was on holiday. In all of these the officials of the ICPC were alleged to have said , they never received the correspondence from the academy

The Rector said he immediately activated another response to the ICPC for the same request on January 9, 2023, by email with a supporting hard copy that was carried by hand and addressed to one Mr. A Udofia, ICPC Director of System Study and Review Department

The Rector showed our reporter, in his iPad, proofs of the responses by email and acknowledgment of the additionally sent hard copy received by ICPC to confirm compliance with the commision’s request.

He said Udofia may have allowed avoidable gaps in the discharge of his duties or may have deliberately created an impression to the public that the academy failed to comply with the commission’s request, which according is untrue.

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He said the action of Udofia who misguided is capable of portraying the academy in bad light before it’s international partners as it rubs negatively on the integrity of the institution and demoralises it’s honest and hard working employees.

While commending the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, for his efforts at curbing corruption in public offices, Cdre Effedua promised to contact the commission soon on the need to ask officers serving there to double check before putting sensitive information in public.

He faulted Udofia for acting in a manner that portrays nepotism and sympathy with writers of frivolous petitions because they are from same part of the country with him.

He added that Mr Udofia had never visited the academy to carry out any inquiry and may have deliberately caused the commission to view the academy in bad light

Effedua recalled that former employees of the academy who secured employments and promotions with fake certificates have not been charged by the commission since 2020 when the cases were referred to ICPC.

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According to him, the academy verified and confirmed from the various institutions purported to have awarded the certificates that they were fake before referring their cases to ICPC.

He added that such operational gap created by few operatives of the commission could result in inability of the commission to promptly address issues brought before it.

The Rector recalled that under his watch, the academy has improved in it’s prevention of corruption and waste of public funds which resulted in rapid transformation, making it one of the few public institutions in Nigeria with state of the art training facilities.

Tweeting via it’s verified handle @icpcnigeria , the commission said “52 MDAs declined to respond to the Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard (EICS) deployed in 2022 by ICPC. They were classified as “High Corruption Risk” (HCR) and are flagged for the attention of the public and for further inquiries and actions”.

Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. hubitokoria@gmail.com

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