*Agency sensitises the girl-child on career in maritime
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has stated that women are central to the accomplishments and efficiency of most successful world economies. Dakuku stated this on Monday in Lagos at a sensitisation workshop for female students organised preparatory to this year’s Day of the Seafarer, an international event coming up on June 25. He urged the girl child to develop career interest in the maritime sector.
The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, will be leading other dignitaries and stakeholders in the maritime community to campaign and encourage more female participation in seafaring and maritime trade at the event scheduled for Tuesday in Lagos.
Dakuku said NIMASA will intensify efforts to encourage ladies, particularly the girl child, to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the maritime industry.
The DG, who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Gambo Ahmed, emphasised the need to put proper structures in place in order to have a strong maritime sector, and a robust economy. He noted that the sensitisation of the girl child on career in maritime was an intervention programme of the Agency, stressing that “On Board with Gender Equality”, which is the theme for the 2019 Day of the Seafarer, coincides with the disposition of NIMASA as a gender-sensitive organisation.
“It may look tough, but it is not insurmountable. The challenges are enormous, but it is our hope that the proactive, pragmatic and deliberate actions as well as the programmes of the Agency will yield positive result in the long run. We are ready and we will continue to align with global best practices in the management and running of the Nigerian maritime sector. Women are critical and we will work and encourage them,” the DG said.
Dakuku observed that the problem of unemployment in the country could be tackled through the development of the maritime sector and NIMASA would work with relevant institutions and instruments of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to make the industry attractive, especially for women.
According to him, “To achieve our objective of ensuring a holistic and sustained participation of women in Nigerian maritime affairs, sensitising the girl child is important and making the industry attractive is also important. As an Agency, we are prepared to support and partner relevant agents of development in Nigeria, including schools, which is the underlying motive of this sensitisation.
The DG reiterated NIMASA’s commitment to ensuring better working conditions for seafarers in line with the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Agenda. He assured that the Agency will continue to give issues concerning seafarers, particularly women seafarers, top priority.
Inspirational career talks were delivered at the event by some women practitioners in the Nigerian maritime industry, including Miss Iwu Augustina Ogechukwu Sandra (Navigator), Mrs. Adebimpe Oluwadamilola (Chief Engineer), Miss Karen Ogidigben, and Miss Pauline Adula (Marine Engineer). They spoke on the benefits of female participation in the industry as well as the challenges.
Female students from many schools, including Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ojo, Lagos, Victoria Island Girls Secondary Grammar School, Queens College, Yaba, Kuraimo Junior Secondary School, and New Era Girls Secondary School, were in attendance..
NIMASA has over the past few years embarked on the training and retraining of Nigerian seafarers and cadets in specialised maritime courses, both locally and internationally, with the aim of enhancing their competence and employability.
The Day of the Seafarer is an annual event marked globally following the resolution adopted by the 2010 diplomatic conference in Manila, Philippines, to adopt the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention).