By Kenneth Jukpor
As part of efforts to ensure aquatic life is preserved and the inherent potentials of oceans and seas are harnessed to the full, Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigeria and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) have advocated for cleaner waters.
Both parties made this plea when WIMA-Nigeria paid a courtesy visit to NIWA Lagos Area Office to present waste baskets at the Marina jetty, as part of efforts to mark the 2019 World Oceans Day on Friday, last week.
Speaking on behalf of NIWA, the Assistant General Manager (AGM) Human Resources at NIWA Lagos Area Office, Mr. Muritala Ajibola Ogboye commended WIMA-Nigeria for their efforts, noting that most users of the waterways have turned the waters to dumpsites.
He said: “Most people dispose waste on the waters but this is wrong and there has been mass awareness about this by NIWA. The waters shouldn’t be seen as a place to dispose waste but a means to convey people, goods and a means of livelihood for aquatics”
Speaking further on the elimination of dirt from the nation’s waterways, Ogboye stated that all players in the maritime sector as well as waterways passengers must take up the onus to tackle the anomaly.
“On this aspect, I want to commend WIMA-Nigeria for identifying the need to keep our waters cleaner and taking the bold step to provide waste bins to enable people drop their waste in this containers rather than the waters” he added.
Ogboye also assured the women association that NIWA would always be open to support and encourage the association, noting that the NIWA Managing Director, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora was gender friendly.
Earlier, the President of WIMA-Nigeria, Hajia Bola Muse had implored the leadership of NIWA to encourage the women working in the Authority to join the association.
Bola Muse revealed that the association has recorded new members from within and outside Lagos, increasing its membership base in order to deepen its impact.
Highlighting some of the initiatives the association carried out recently, she stated that the body had set-up Youth Membership Initiative to catch young girls and prepare them for great roles in the maritime sector.
“We have been able to organize three trainings for our members. Two have been on Blue Economy and the other one on Fundamentals of Shipping”
“We actively participated during the International Women’s Day celebration alongside other notable women organizations. We attend the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sponsored Blue Economy Conferences in Malmo, Sweden organized by the World Maritime University (WMU)”, she said.
She explained that WIMA-Nigeria was a chapter of WIMAFRICA. WIMAFRICA is a non-profit organization designed to answer the call for gender equality, women empowerment as well as to establish a cooperation of entrepreneurship development of African Women in the Maritime Sector.
WIMAFRICA currently comprises members from African countries such as; Togo, Angola, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Niger Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, among others.
Some of the objectives of the organization are; to promote cooperation and collaboration between national, regional and international organizations to advance African women in the maritime sector; to maintain mainstream participation of African women in all aspect of the Blue Economy, including policy, advocacy and maritime awareness; to promote human capacity development, entrepreneurship development and employment for women in all facets of the maritime sector in Africa, among others.