…process riddled with biases, gaps – Rector
Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Commodore Duja Effedua, Rtd, has faulted the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, for listing the premier maritime training institution as a High Corruption Risk, (HCR), Agency, for allegedly failing to respond to the Commission’s Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard (EICS), questioners.
An ICPC report published last week which labelled the school among 52 Ministries, Department and Agencies with vulnerabilities that enable corrupt practices has been widely criticised for being riddled with biases and gaps.
Responding to this development on the sidelines of an event in Lagos few days ago, Effedua said the conclusions of the ICPC was untrue and dumbfounding.
He agonized that the inclusion of Academy in HCR ranking on the account that it failed to respond to the Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard, EICS, questioners could de-market the Academy, eroding gains made so far in the global maritime space in the last five years.
Effedua who showed proofs that the Academy had timely responded to all ICPC enquiries stated that on March 12, 2021, a mail was received from the Commission, which the Academy expeditiously responded to through the ICPC’s email as specifically directed.
“After some months, they wrote again to say they didn’t get our reply, and we stated that we did reply and went further to show proof of delivery as our evidence. Is the Academy to be held liable for operational gaps within the responsible departments?
“Another EICS letter arrived the Academy on December 22, 2022 and despite that the Academy had closed for the Year immediately after the 2022 Graduation Ceremony, l directed that the request be treated immediately and it was done and submitted on January 9, 2023.
“Now, based on the funny signals we have been getting from them, we decided to submit the hard copy of the EICS to the Director of Study System & Review Department, Mr. A. Udofia, and it was received and acknowledged by the Commission. Strangely, it is this same director that claimed that MAN didn’t reply to their audit request, which is untrue.
“Before this time, we sent names of some staff members of the Academy who gained employment with forged certificates to the ICPC to do their own investigation, majority of the affected staff are from the state and host community.
“More than three years now, ICPC didn’t act on our request. Each time we ask for updates, they ask us to send the names again, and we do. Up till today, ICPC has not acted on that report and this attitude makes us suspicious of the motives of some internal forces within the respected anti-graft agency.
“How can they claim that these documents did not to get to their destination, within their complex despite proof of delivery and acknowledgement copies for them?
“I am worried that some persons are not happy with the positive things happening at the Academy, under my watch. Remember that since coming in, a cabal that held down the development of the Academy have written more than 6000 petitions against me, because l blocked the leakages and shut them out”, Effedua stated.
He emphatically stated that all EICS enquiries were responded to via an Email provided by the ICPC first on the 2nd July 2021 and hard copies addressed to Mr A Udofia, the director in charge of the enquiries were sent to him again on the 9th January 2022.
Effedua however expressed confidence that the ICPC Chairman would swing into action quickly to “investigate the biases of some of its staff in the handling of the affairs of MAN in recent times.”
‘If the Study System & Review Department of our revered ICPC is saying they conducted a research to arrive at its unfair assessment and ranking, where and how did they do this without visiting the Academy?
Given the receipt of the EICS correspondences and other related matters, which the Study System & Review Department of the ICPC, stakeholders have since questioned the authenticity of the process for the assessment/ ranking and the report that followed.
TNMN further gathered that there were no visits to the school or study conducted by the Agency before arriving at the classification even as the Rector added that the rating may endanger ongoing partnerships the Academy has with foreign MTIs for capacity building, technical support and marketing.