By Kenneth Jukpor
Three notable women groups in the nation’s transportation sector collaborated to support the fight against coronavirus with relief materials to dockworkers, yesterday.
Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria initiated the move that included Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) and African Women in Maritime (WIMAfrica) Nigerian chapter, making donations to support the fight against the virus also known as Covid-19.
Speaking during the presentation, the Vice President of WISTA-Nigeria, Mrs. Anna Akpan stated that the essence was to augment what the Presidency and top agencies like the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), among others, have done to contribute to the fight against COVID-19.
Akpan who represented the WISTA President, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke, said; “We felt that women in the maritime industry as well as the entire transport sector could do something to support the nobel initiative, hence WISTA led the call to have the three women groups come together to make this donation”
“You can see that we didn’t just settle for precautionary items like hand wash, sanitizers and toiletries but we went further to get food items because we know that at such time when these dockworkers also need to eat well to stay healthy. This is our contribution to stem the spread of coronavirus. It is a collaboration by WISTA Nigeria, WIMAfrica, WILAT”
Akpan admonshed the recipients to adhere to the basic hygiene such as washing their hands regularly, using hand sanitizers, coughing into elbows, maintaining social distancing, among others.
Although she commended the efforts of President Mohammadu Buhari and the Lagos State government to curb the spread of the pandemic, she opined that the lockdown should have been initiated weeks earlier.
According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic would be contained in the next few weeks if Nigerians religiously adhere to the stipulated measures and the lockdown.
Meanwhile, the President of WIMA-Nigeria, Hajia Bola Muse expressed delight to be involved in the support dedicated to dockworkers.
“We know that this is small compared to what some agencies have already done. However, this will go a long way in their lives of the recipients. We are mothers and you can see it in our donation as we also included food items to enable these people survive Covid-19 and the lockdown”, she said.
Muse added that the presentation was a way to support people in the maritime sector, especially dockworkers and seafarers, noting that it showed women could also support.
The President of WiLAT, Mrs. Folake Soji-George, also described the donation as a worthwhile venture even as she expressed optimism that it would further enhance the relationship between the groups as they continue to make significant contributions in the maritime and entire transport sector.
Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees (BOT) Secretary, Nigerian Seafarers Welfare Board of Nigeria, Dr. Amos Kuje thanked the women groups for the donation.
“Not every Nigerian seafarer has access to these kind of materials that you have donated and the board would do everything to ensure that these get to the seafarers that it is meant for. Thank you very much for this,” he said.