Hadiza extols NIMASA for '#On Board With Gender Equality' campaign

L-R: The Wife of the Vice President, Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Dolapo Osinbajo, The Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the Representative of the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),  Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Davies, during the 2019 Seafarer’s Day in Lagos.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman, has applauded the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for initiating the “ON BOARD WITH GENDER EQUALITY’’ campaign for the 2019 Seafarers Day Celebration, as the First Lady, Her Excellency Dr. Aisha Buhari, called for more women participation in the Nigeria’s maritime sector.
The Managing Director recognized that with such programme in place, NIMASA is striving to ensure a gender equality in the nation’s maritime Industry.

Represented by the Executive Director Marine and Operations of the NPA, Dr. Sekonte Davis, at this Seafarer’s Day Celebration, hosted by NIMASA, Hadiza Bala Usman regretted that although gender imbalance is a global problem in the labor market, “The worst example of this phenomenon exist in the Maritime Community where records from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) indicates that a disheartening 2℅ of the workforce are women.”
She also acknowledged that the problem is not limited to Africa alone, but also continental due to traditional and religious practices which exclude women from certain career opportunities.

She said: “We should go past these sentiments and give our citizens irrespective of gender the best opportunities that life offers them,” as she encouraged young girls to take interest in science and technology subjects to enable them pursue careers in shipping and marine operations etc.

The MD told seafarers that NPA now grant women maternity leave 16 weeks as against 12 weeks, while nursing mothers are also allowed to report to duty one hour after official resumption time and closes one hour before closing as part of encouraging Women.

NPA had also commissioned a Crèche Facility for nursing mothers. In her words “we must constantly remind ourselves that women matter and that when we build women, we build humanity.”

The wife of the Vice President, Pastor Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, who represented the First Lady, Dr. Aisha Buhari, said that she was delighted to be part of the 2019 event as its theme is centered on gender equality and the empowerment of women in the maritime industry.

She added that the 2019 Day of Seafarers provide an opportunity for Government, Ship-Owners and other Maritime Stakeholders to encourage the participation of women in the Maritime Sector.

She called on government agencies, particularly those in the maritime sector, to ensure the achievement of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.

Earlier in the event, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, while welcoming guests, said  the Agency would continue to pursue policies and programmes on gender equality and empowerment of women in the maritime sector by instituting sustainable policies to  guarantee equal and fair employment opportunities for both male and female seafarers.

Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Alhaji Hassan Bello, in his contributions, said that gender equality provides employment and also promotes the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He highlighted the importance of creating an enabling environment for Women to thrive in seafaring profession, guarantying adequate information, pay equality, and the prohibition of sexual harassment.