The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has rued the poor number of females in the profession of seafaring, saying NIMASA was working with stakeholders to try to reverse “the great imbalance.”
Peterside made this known in Lagos while speaking with the press ahead of the 2019 Day of the Seafarer slated for June 25.
He noted that the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari is the special guest of the day, saying ‘’her presence will be a boost to the efforts to attract more female involvement in the sector.’’
The NIMASA boos informed that the 2019 event,
themed “On board with gender equality”, was geared towards encouraging more
women to take advantage of opportunities in the maritime sector, particularly
as seafarers; as Marine Engineers, Nautical Scientists, Marine Surveyors, Deck
officers and even grow to become Master Mariners.
“Statistics available have shown that only 2% of the total seafarers across the world are females and more disappointing is the fact that majority of this percentage are from the Philippines a country which dominates the profession in huge numbers, raking in huge income/foreign exchange. So there is need for us to take conscious and deliberate actions to encourage women to take a career in seafaring,” Peterside stated.
NIMASA DG said this year’s Day of the Seafarer was unique, as it is focused on
highlighting the fact that the seafaring profession is not a career solely
preserved for men but one that can accommodate all genders. He also disclosed
that there would be a one-day sensitisation workshop on Monday in Lagos for
over 400 Nigerian female students from all over the country to showcase the
benefits of taking a career in seafaring.
Speaking on what NIMASA is doing to encourage women to take a career in the profession, Dakuku stated that the Agency was planning a robust awareness programme that would continue to enlighten Nigerians on the seafaring profession. He said the Agency would also look into creating more avenues for Nigerian students through interventionist programmes and proper education.
IMO has raised concerns about the low level of participation by females in the seafaring profession and has, therefore, selected “empowering women in the maritime community” as this year’s theme for the World Maritime Day. The United Nation’s specialised organ advised member-states to key into the theme for various celebrations within the year. Hence, Nigeria’s focus on the subject of creating gender equality during the celebration of the 2019 Day of the Seafarer.
This year’s celebrations which is also co-hosted by the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, the Executive Secretary Nigerian Shippers Council Barr. Hassan Bello is also expected to have in attendance the wife of The Lagos State Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, members of women international shipping and trading Association (WISTA), members of Women in Maritime Africa (WIMA) other notable Associations that are expected to be part of the event include the various associations of shipowners in Nigeria, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria ((MWUN) and other key players in the sector.