NIMASA Boss Calls For Gender Equality In Maritime Sector

The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has urged Women International Maritime Africa (WIMAfrica) to refocusits agenda to achieve gender equality in the maritime sector.Peterside made the plea on Tuesday when members of the association visited the agency’s headquarters in Lagos.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WIMAfrica was established on the need to develop a common institution of co-operation and a continental platform for all African women in themaritime sector.WIMAfrica was set up to also increase women’s participation in the development of the African continent and promote gender equality.Dakuku said that, “There is the need to recognise efforts being made by women and their participation in African maritime sector.“At present, people acknowledged that women must entrench and assert themselves as deserving role-players in the maritime sector and ensure an increment in women’s participation in the sector,’’ he said.Peterside was represented by the agency’s Executive Director in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr i Bashir Jamoh.He said that there was no doubt that many women had been performing brilliantly well in NIMASA.“We have a lot of women who are heading various departments in NIMASA and they are performing diligently.“I will urge your association to encourage more women to choose career in maritime because if we have intelligent women, then we can talk of gender equality.“The agency is working on sea-time training and as soon as we finalise it, qualified cadets will be given the opportunity to compete with their counterparts from other countries,’’ Peterside said .The director-general said that he would study the proposal of the association and determine what the agency could do to assist and encourage more women in the maritime industry.In her speech, the President of WIMAfrica, Nigeria Chapter, Mrs Jean Chiazor-Anishere, pleaded with the agency to support the association to achieve its mandate of empowering women in the coastal areas.“We intend to buy fishing equipment to some fisher women in Makoko area in Lagos, Delta, Port-Harcourt, Lokoja and other areas where women engage in fishing as a profession.“We also want the agency to consider our members for foreign trips to enable them have exposure like their counterparts from other African countries.“We will not like to seek for sponsorship at all times and that is why we are requesting that the agency should consider some of our members as consultants.“We have women who have got more than 30 years’ working  experiences in maritime industry  as food chandlers, maritime lawyers, maritime administrators and so on, ‘’ Chiazor-Anishere said.She said that the collaboration would assist NIMASA to achieve its mission statement as well as improve gender equality in the maritime industry.Chiazor-Anishere emphasised the need to engage trained cadets on sea-time experience to enable them go on board and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through payment of tax.