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Aisha Buhari takes lead to encourage more female participation in maritime

…As NIMASA, Maritime Stakeholders host World Seafarers’
   …More females
needed in maritime business, says Dakuku

The First Lady,
Her Excellency, 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 as the country joins the rest of
the world to mark this year’s Day of the Seafarer on June 25.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, disclosed this
at the weekend in Lagos during a chat with journalists, noting that her
presence would further boost the ongoing campaign to encourage the
participation of more females In seafaring and the maritime sector, in line
with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) campaign for this year to
get more women into the hitherto male dominated profession.

Dakuku regretted that very few females were in the profession of seafaring and
said NIMASA was working with stakeholders to try to reverse “the great
He said the presence of the President’s wife, who will be leading
other prominent women in the maritime industry to the event scheduled to hold
in Lagos, will be a boost to the efforts to attract more female involvement in
the sector.

He noted that this year’s event, themed “On board with gender equality”, was
geared towards encouraging more women to take advantage of opportunities in the
maritime sector, particularly as seafarers; as Marine Engineers, Nautical
Scientists, Marine Surveyors, Deck officers and even grow to become Master

“Statistics available have shown that only 2% of the total seafarers across the
world are females and more disappointing is the fact that majority of this
percentage are from the Philippines a country which dominates the profession in
huge numbers, raking in huge income / foreign exchange. So there is need for us
to take conscious and deliberate actions to encourage women to take a career in
seafaring,” Dakuku stated.

The NIMASA DG said this year’s Day of the Seafarer was
unique, as it is focused on highlighting the fact that the seafaring profession
is not a career solely preserved for men but one that can accommodate all
genders. He also disclosed that there would be a one-day sensitisation workshop
on Monday in Lagos for over 400 Nigerian female students from all over the
country to showcase the benefits of taking a career in seafaring.

Speaking on what NIMASA is doing to encourage women to take a career in the
profession, Dakuku stated that the Agency was planning a robust awareness
programme that would continue to enlighten Nigerians on the seafaring

He said the
Agency would also look into creating more avenues for Nigerian students through
interventionist programmes and proper education.
IMO has raised concerns about the low level of
participation by females in the seafaring profession and has, therefore,
selected “empowering women in the maritime community” as this year’s theme for
the World Maritime Day.
The United
Nation’s specialised organ advised member-states to key into the theme for
various celebrations within the year. Hence, Nigeria’s focus on the subject of
creating gender equality during the celebration of the 2019 Day of the
This year’s celebrations which is also co-hosted by
the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, the
Executive Secretary Nigerian Shippers Council Barr. Hassan Bello, is also
expected to have in attendance the wife of The Lagos State Governor, Dr. Mrs.
Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.
Also expected
for the event are members of women international shipping and trading
Association (WISTA), members of Women in Maritime Africa (WIMA), the various
associations of shipowners in Nigeria, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria
((MWUN) and other key players in the sector.

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