NSDP Female Cadets Turned Tailors, Hair Dressers, Lament Sexual Harassment By Employers

Apparently due to their lack of sea time opportunities, some female cadets who graduated with under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) being handled by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have decided to embrace other trades such as hair dressing and tailoring.

Secretary General of the Abuja MoU on Port State Control, Mrs. Mfon Usoro at an event organized by the Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) in Lagos last week shared the experience of one of the affected students who wrote a ‘Save Our Soul’ (SOS) letter to her. 

Usoro, while reading the SoS letter written to her, quoted the cadets lamenting that whenever they apply for jobs in the maritime sector, they were never considered and that many of the employers demand sex before they could be employed.

The cadets cried out that many of their mates are now being used as sex tools in their quest to get jobs. They appealed to NIMASA and their sponsors, assuring that there are many administrative positions in which they can function very well. The cadets also expressed readiness to enroll in extra management courses if this would qualify them to be employed by companies in the sector.

Part of the letter reads: “More than 85 girls have graduated between 2014 and now, so many of us graduated with first class, but none have started working; many have lost hope and have taken to tailoring, hair dressing and so on”

“We have applied to many companies and we were told that there was no vacancy for ladies, we are using this medium to ask if administrative jobs can be considered for our ladies because so many of us hear about piracy on our territorial waters and we experience sexual harassments”

“One of our ladies went for an interview at Apapa and this is what she came back with - “he ( the CEO) said I needed to come and spend some time with him at a posh hotel in Lekki, I asked him what that was all about, and he replied, don’t tell me you don’t know what I am asking for’’.

The letter continues: “They have all it takes to help us, but they just want to use us as sex toys, we were trained with millions of Naira to fill the vacuum in the maritime sector and not to be used as sex tools, but the only way we would not be used as sex tools is when our sponsors try to put us on service”.

Still reading from the letter, Usoro said. “Nigeria has spent a lot on us, we are the future of this country and we have to start from somewhere. The administrative jobs we applied for, we were not considered as well due to lack of experience, but experience has to start from somewhere”.