By Kenneth Jukpor
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, has urged women in Nigeria’s maritime sector to develop leadership qualities that would enable them take up the opportunities for leadership in the sector.
Bala-Usman made this call when the executives of the Women in Maritime Africa (WIMAfrica) paid a courtesy visit to the NPA Headquarters in Lagos, even as pledged to continue to support and encourage women to achieve more in the maritime sector.
She also seized the opportunity to urge all women in the maritime industry to work together in the bid to improve their leadership abilities and provide mentorship for the younger women
“I want to encourage you and support you in any way I can. I will like to congratulate you on some of the achievements your association has made within the shorted period of time. I will continue to tell you not to rest on your oars. You need to continue and the Nigerian Ports Authority will be willing to support you,” Bala-Usman said.
According to the NPA boss, there was need for the industry to recognize women’s role in the maritime industry to enable the sector forge ahead in its development.
Bala-Usman stated that as an ambassador of women at the helm of NPA, as well as her personality as a woman, she would always be willing and ready to support the association.
Earlier, the President of WIMAfrica, Nigerian Branch, Hajia Bola Muse, commended the positive impact the present administration of NPA had on the maritime industry under the leadership of Bala-Usman.
Muse said the WIMAfrica was a platform for training, capacity building, corporate and entrepreneurial development of African women in the maritime sector.
She said WIMAfrica was established in Luanda, Angola on March 25, 2015 to encourage women to develop a continental platform for women in Africa.
Muse also revealed that the establishment of the body was a direct response to a request by Dr Nkosazana Diamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC).
“WIMA-Nigeria has empowered women in Makoko fishing community in Lagos by donating giant ovens for fish processing and preservation. We have participated in the international activities by providing community service during g the World Ocean Day, while we donated cleaning materials to encourage others to keep our ocean areas clean,” Muse said.
She pleaded with the Managing Director of NPA to encourage female members of staff at the Authority to join the association to enable them improve their capacities whilst providing mentorship for others in the maritime sector.