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MD NPA advocates women inclusivity in core maritime careers

MD NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports
Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has called on stakeholders in maritime sector
to include more women in professional services, in order to achieve a balance
in the sector.

She stated this at a conference of women in
Africa (WIMA-NIGERIA) which took place in Lagos.

The Managing Director noted that in line with
the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which took off about four years ago,
there was need for inclusiveness and gender equality as a way of achieving the
best for the world.

She disclosed that a “disheartening 2% of the
workforce are women” who find themselves in sundry positions as administration,
marketing, communications, law etc.

The Managing Director decried the influence of
traditional and religious practices which exclude women from certain career
opportunities, thus shutting out the girl child from being involved in Ports

She said: “what I mean is that there should be
a concerted efforts at ensuring that more women get into professions in
maritime sector and remain there with the prospect that will attain the
management cadre.”

On the way forward, the managing director
advocated that young girls should be encouraged to take interest in Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in order to pursue
career in Shipping, Marine, Operations and Engineering Sub-Sectors.

She called for the establishment of specialised
institutions and the provision of incentives/scholarships for girls while
insisting that a mentoring system would invariably impact on the number of
girls who enter the Marine Sector.

She reminded stakeholders that it was
imperative to ensure good working conditions for women in the sector: “we must
also ensure working conditions that encourage the retention of women at work,” she

In essence, women in the NPA are allowed to resume
one hour later and close one hour earlier than the official closing time
12 months after delivering. Moreover, the status of the woman does not determine
her enjoying this privilege.

Furthermore, she advocated that more platforms
be provided for, whilst engendering togetherness and unison in the purpose of
speaking with one voice.

She concluded her submission by insisting that
for efficient port operations and raise the bar in productivity, there was need
for human capacity development across board.

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