By Okuneye Moyosola
The Managing Director of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has emphasized the need for early mentorship in balancing the gender Gap in the maritime sector.
She said this at the 2019 Annual Business Luncheon, Magazine Launch and 25th Anniversary of Women in Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), Nigeria with the theme “Balancing the Gender Gap in the maritime participation”.
Hadiza who was represented by the General Manager, Managing Director’s Office, NPA, Dr Chinwe Abama urged professional women in the sector to embrace the ‘catch them young’ initiative.
“A vital strategy in balancing the gender is by offering opportunities to the girl child in vocational and technical training early, as the slogan goes “catch them while they are young”. This attempt to create the much needed awareness of limitless opportunities that abound in the maritime sector”.
“It is pertinent to state that balancing of the gender gap in maritime participation is a change that we should collectively aspire and pursue in order to ensure that women get fair advancement that is commensurate with their qualification and experience” she said.
She also urged women associations to implement more sensitization programmes and also establish platforms to mentor young women.
“Professional maritime women associations should implement more sensitization programmes as well as create necessary platforms to mentor young women who have developed interest in various fields in the maritime sector such as shipping, maritime surveying, maritime engineering, cartography logistics and transport as well as other fields”.
The Chairman of OTL, Africa, Mr Emeka Akabogu during his lead paper presentation said there should be access to equal opportunities across gender.
Akabogu noted that women are faced with several challenges in the fight for equal opportunity while encouraging them to be strong.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of STARZS Group of Companies, Mr Greg Ogbeifun who was also present at the event thanked WISTA, Nigeria for various corporate social responsibility activities across the country.
He also stressed that the association is committed to impacting the life of women, children and encouraged them to keep up the good work.