Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi is set to probe the accounts of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State over the N18 billion released to the institution.
Amaechi, it was gathered, has ordered the immediate audit of the accounts of the Academy and the tenure of its Rector, Joshua Okpo.
The Rector, it was gathered, incurred the Minister’s wrath last week when he accused the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) of starving the academy of funds. The Minister, it was learnt, summoned the Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Haruna Jauro and demanded explanation as to why the agency was starving the academy of its statutory five per cent funds.
“The NIMASA DG was really shocked by Okpo’s allegation and he explained to the Honourable Minister that NIMASA had regularly released money due to the academy,” a source said.
Jauro, it was learnt, also informed the Minister that NIMASA had released more than N18 billion to MAN Oron between 2009 and 2014.
It was at this point that Okpo, who also attended the meeting, confirmed to the Minister that the academy had actually received up to N13 billion since 2011 when he assumed duties as the Rector of the institution, the source added.
“When asked by the Minister to explain what he had done with the huge sums of money released to the academy against the backdrop of lack of physical infrastructural development of the institution, Okpo was short of a convincing explanation prompting the Minister to order an immediate audit of the academy’s account from 2009 to date,” the source said.
The Deputy Public Relations of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka said the financial activities of the institution might be probed by the government.