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Shipping: Nigeria will lead in redressing gender inequality – NIMASA DG

Wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo flanked by Chairman, Ship-owners Forum, Mrs Margaret Orakwusi (right) and Chairman, Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess (Dr.) Vicky Haastrup (left) during the 2019 Day of the Seafarer, held in Lagos.

In response to growing
concerns about the global gender imbalance in the maritime industry, the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has moved to
redress the situation through deliberate steps designed to accommodate women.

The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr.
Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this at the weekend, said the Agency was set to
do more in collaboration with stakeholders.

The International Maritime
Organisation (IMO) made gender equality the focus of this year’s Day of the Seafarer,
marked June 25, with the campaign theme, “On board with gender equality,”
echoing the 2019 World Maritime Day theme, “Empowering Women in the Maritime
IMO said the emphasis on
women empowerment this year was meant to draw international attention to an
awful inequality in the maritime sector, where women constitute only two per
cent of the total seafaring population.   
The First Lady, Dr. Aisha
Buhari, who chaired the Day of the Seafarer celebrations in Nigeria hosted in
Lagos by NIMASA, also expressed worry about the poor worldwide figures of women
in maritime. But she disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari was determined
to provide platforms that will encourage more women’s participation in the
sector to boost economic development.
However, Dakuku said NIMASA
was taking steps to remedy the unfair maritime workforce statistics. In
contrast to the worldwide record of two per cent women seafarers, he said,
Nigeria posts somewhat better statistics.
The DG disclosed that out of
the 6,039 seafarers on the Nigerian seafarers’ register, 567 or 9.3 per cent
were females. Also, data from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron,
shows that 26 of the total 250 students in the school are females, representing
10.4 per cent, he stated.
He added that while 304 of
the 2,041, representing 14.9 per cent, beneficiaries of the Nigerian Seafarers
Development Programme (NSDP) were females, 32, representing 13.4 per cent, of
the 239 cadets currently enjoying sea time training sponsored by NIMASA were
females, and the Agency was committed to continuous improvement in the above
global standards.
“We have since moved to
redress the imbalance in the sector by adopting deliberate policies tailored
towards bringing in more women to the maritime industry, particularly, the
seafaring profession, in response to the global concerns and in tandem with the
IMO theme for the year,” Dakuku stated.
He added, “We are in concert
with the President Muhammadu Buhari government in its Next Level initiative,
which aims at ensuring an all-inclusive development.
“The maritime sector is a key
industry and we cannot afford to exclude the women, who make up about 50 per
cent of our population, in activities within the all-important industry.
“So we shall be engaging
stakeholders in the sector to design measures and modalities for the engagement
of more women in shipping activities and other areas within the maritime
Dakuku stated that the reform
agenda being implemented by the current management of the Agency was
consciously designed to make the work environment conducive for all genders.
The Dakuku-led management’s
reform initiative is anchored on the following pillars: survey, inspection and
certification transformation programme; environment, security, emergency search
and rescue transformation initiative; digital strategy reforms; capacity
building and promotional initiatives; and structural and cultural reforms

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