We strongly believe that the Liberian Senate was fed with misinformation by some political activists on social media for obvious reasons. They chose to intentionally or ignorantly misinform the public by providing wrong information. All of their cited information was wrong and misleading. They may have done so on purpose, but our disappointment comes from the fact that the Honorable Liberian Senate was deceived.

They initiated and sustained an argument that the Nairobi Aviation College, which Ms. Edwina Collins claims to attend, is a fake college operating unlawfully in Kenya. It was not offering courses in maritime management and is not recognized by the Kenyan Commission of University Education.

Thankfully, we have got the hard facts refuting all of their claims against the young Liberian lady. We obtained a letter dated June 16, 2022, from Nairobi Aviation College confirming that Ms. Collins is a student enrolled at the institution pursuing a diploma in Maritime Management.

We also established that Nairobi Aviation College is licensed as a legal institution by Kenya’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority.

 Its School of Clearing and Forwarding offers Maritime Management Diplomas in 12 months. One of the branches of Nairobi Aviation College that Ms. Collins attends as a licensed Technical and Vocational College in Kenya is assigned the registration # TVETA/PRIVATE/TVC/0120/2018 by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority. The Nairobi Aviation College is listed as N0. 1443 on a spread sheet of recognized technical colleges, and the other three branches are listed after it.

The school says that the goal of the Maritime Management course is to give students a body of knowledge that will increase and broaden their employment opportunities in the global maritime industry; to give them a clear understanding of all economic, legal, technical, and managerial parameters that apply to the shipping industry; and to teach them how to use their knowledge from the course to analyze and solve problems.

 Our investigation uncovered that the Commission of University Education is not the relevant authority to certify technical institutes like Nairobi Aviation College. The Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority is in charge of accrediting technical schools in Kenya.

We’re confident that their misleading impression ultimately developed into a prejudice that made people dislike the nominee, leading many Liberians, including members of the Liberian Senate, to believe Ms. Collins was lying and didn’t have the education she claimed. Because of this bias, the Liberian Senate chose not to vote for her.

 Apparently, it was because of the false alarm that certain members of the Senate Standing Committee on Autonomous Agencies and Public Enterprises were so eager and adamant during the hearing to verify whether Ms. Collins was studying maritime management at Nairobi Aviation College, as she indicated on her resume. In a video clip that is going around social media, Sen. Jonathan Sogbie of River Gee County can be seen questioning the nominee about her claim that she went to the Nairobi Aviation College to study Maritime Management.

“Your CV states that you are a Maritime Management student at Nairobi Aviation College.” Is that accurate? ” Unfortunately, I’m on the website of Nairobi Aviation College. Except for the fact that I am on a different page, there is no mention of marine management, so if you could provide me with your website link, I would appreciate it if you could double-check that. “Believe me,” he said.

Madam Collins stated that she is a Nairobi Aviation College Maritime Management student who would send the Senator the website link via email.

 According to our data, Ms. Edwina Collins started at Nairobi Aviation College in May 2021 and has only one external examination left to complete her education. She is now a Kenyatta University graduate student earning a master’s degree in Gender and Development Studies. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Liberia as well as a number of post-graduate certificates, including a certificate in sexual and gender-based violence among women and girls; youth empowerment; a certificate in network engineering from Blue Crest University College; a certificate in computer database management; and advanced word processing, a skill she said could be very useful in developing, coordinating, and managing the shipping region.

 In 2017–2018, Ms. Edwina Collins worked as an assistant procurement and logistic officer before rising to become the procurement and logistic officer for a USAID project, Cultivating New Frontiers in Africa, Liberia Agriculture Development Activity, and in 2016, she worked as an administrative assistant at the Don Bosco Youth Center in Monrovia.

 Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay, the committee’s chairman, received a letter from Ms. Edwina informing him that she was sending material in response to senators’ concerns about the Nairobi Aviation College’s website address during the hearing.

“Mr. Chairman, during my confirmation hearing, one of your colleagues inquired about the genuineness of the Nairobi Aviation College’s offer of courses in Maritime Management on the official website of the Nairobi Aviation College,” the letter said in part. “In answer to the distinguished Senator’s query, I am pleased to give the following facts for the record,” the letter read.

 Ms. Collins gave the senate the URL of the college’s website as well as an email address to which they could send any queries about the school. At least one committee member most certainly attempted to verify the college’s legitimacy.

 Despite the fact that Ms. Collins is ready and eager to serve her country, the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime told the Liberian Senate’s Plenary on Thursday, June 9, 2022, that Madam Edwina Collins’ nomination as Deputy Maritime Commissioner Designate should be rejected because she lacks the necessary qualifications and experience.

We are certain that the Senate’s rejection of Ms. Edwina Collins’ candidacy for deputy commissioner of the Maritime Authority was tainted by prejudice, political conspiracies, and disinformation. 

Now that the facts surrounding her qualifications and the legitimacy of the Nairobi Aviation College have been clarified, we would like to encourage H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, to re-nominate Ms. Edwina Collins for the position of Deputy Commissioner of the Maritime Authority for Vessel Registration and Safety, while we call on the Honorable Liberian Senate to do the honorable thing by confirming the President’s nominee.

We strongly believe Ms. Edwina Collins was prejudiced against and, when given a second chance, she could make a comeback.

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