By Our Reporter
Aware of the growing concerns about the global gender imbalance in the shipping industry, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ,NIMASA, has moved to redress the situation through deliberate steps designed to accommodate women in the nation’s maritime sector.
That much was confirmed by Dakuku Peterside, the Director, General, who had said that the Agency was set to do more in collaboration with the Industry stakeholders.
Note that the International Maritime Organisation ,IMO, had made gender equality the focus of this year’s Seafarer’s Day, marked on June 25, 2019, with the campaign theme, “On board with gender equality,” reechoing the 2019 World Maritime Day theme, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.”
The IMO had said the emphasis on women empowerment 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, Hajia Aisha Buhari, who was represnted by Dolapo Osibanjo, wife of Yemi Osibanjo, the Vice Prsident, who chaired the Day of the Seafarer celebrations in Nigeria hosted by NIMASA, in Lagos had expressed worry about the poor worldwide figures of women in maritime. She had disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to provide platforms that will encourage more women’s participation in the sector to boost economic development.
In apparent react to the First Lady’s demand for gender inequality in the nation’s maritime industry, Peterside, the NIMASA boss, said the agency has taking steps to remedy the unfair maritime workforce statistics in contrast to the worldwide record of two
he 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,” he had said.
He noted that the agency was not unmindful of what President Muhammadu Buhari government in its Next Level initiative, which aims at ensuring an all-inclusive development is all about.“The maritime sector is a key industry and we cannot afford to exclude the women, who make up about 50 per cent of the population, in activities within the industry.
He had assured the First Lady of plans of 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 workforce.”
he disclosed 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 which may have gladdened the heart of teh First Lady.
According Iseichei Osamngbi, the agency Deputy Director, and Head of Corporate Communications, the agency ‘s reform initiative is anchored on the following pillars: survey, inspection and certification transformation programme; environment, security and, emergency search.
This is in addition to rescue transformation initiative, digital strategy reforms, capacity building, promotional initiatives and structural and cultural reforms initiatives.