Nigeria Could Be Sub-Regional Bunkering Hub For Ships

By Kenneth Jukpor

 

Nigeria Could Be Sub-Regional Bunkering Hub For Ships
L-R: WIMAfrica Continental Coordinator, Mrs. Gloria Kanabe; Chairperson WIMAfrica Anglophone, Chief Mrs. Carol Ufere; President of WIMA-Nigeria, Mrs. Rollens Macfoy; Hajia Aisha Jummai Musa; with the winners of the quiz session; when WIMA-Nigeria celebrated International Women’s Day in Lagos, yesterday.

 

Amid Nigeria’s huge maritime potentials and little or no area of specialization, the Secretary General of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African Region, Capt. Sunday Umoren has described bunkering as a viable aspect for specialization.

Noting that the nation has a geographical advantage to play the role of a bunkering hub in the sub-region, Umoren stressed that bunkering is a legitimate and lucrative business even though it’s usually the illegal aspect that is popular in the country.

Umoren made this call while speaking at a conference organized by Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigeria to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day in Lagos, yesterday.

The Secretary General of Abuja MoU also encouraged women in Nigeria to harness opportunity for bunkering as well as other emerging opportunities in the maritime sector such as; investing in ocean freight, tourism, warehousing, ocean shipping logistics, trucking, sales, freight forwarding, terminal operations, among others.

At the event tagged ‘Gender Equality Today for Sustainable Tomorrow’ #Breaking the Bias’, Umoren reiterated that the maritime industry is a major driver of the national economy with huge opportunities for women in the sector, even as he showed the inspiring stories of some historical women achievers in various aspects of maritime.

In his paper titled: ‘Empowerment and Job Opportunities in the Maritime Industry’, Umoren showed the vast economic impact created by the sector and its numerous investment opportunities.

Nigeria Could Be Sub-Regional Bunkering Hub For Ships

L-R: Mrs. Aisha Cole, WIMAfrica PRO, Mrs Faith Hope, WIMAfrica Continental Coordinator, Mrs Gloria Kanabe, WIMAfrica Continental Nig. VP, Mrs Carol Ufere, Secretary General of Abuja MoU, Capt. Sunday Umoren, WIMAfrica Nigerian President, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, WIMAfrica Nigerian Coordinator, Engr. Oluwadamilola Adebamipe and the Assistant PRO of WIMAfrica, Mrs Lola Adesakan, at the WIMA-Nigeria event in Lagos, yesterday.

While the maritime benefits he highlighted included; job creation, attracting foreign investments, supporting allied industries and creating cosmopolitan cities, he rated a crucial aspect like maritime tourism zero in Nigeria as the venture remains untapped.

He, however, encouraged young women to speedily identify mentors in their respective fields and be resolved to display top-notch excellence in their respective professions.

Earlier, the President of Women in Maritime Africa (WIMA), Nigerian Chapter, Mrs. Rollens Macfoy, IWD is another opportunity to reemphasize the call to action for accelerating gender professional parity.

“I categorically say here that, men need to know that: real men treat women with love and respect, as headship is all about love, teaching and watching what you have invested on grow overtime,” she said.

According to her, the event by WIMA-Nigeria was in line with United Nation’s declaration marking the 2022 IWD an annual event which was first celebrated in 1911.

She stated that there is no barrier in professionalism, noting that the maritime sector is large and can accommodate everyone.

“We need to educate the young women and implore them to come and be trained to know where they can fit in the industry. They can be crew managers as an administrator, the cooking profession earns so much onboard the vessels, those that like trading can be ship chandlers. There is no end to professionalism in this maritime sector,” she stressed.

In her goodwill message, the former Continental President, WIMAfrica, Mrs. Jean-Chiazor Anishere, SAN, urged women to let their professionalism and hard work come to bear to encourage the younger ones.

Anishere, who was represented by Barr. Oluwakemi Awoniyi, said “as Women in Maritime and Sea Port sector grouped in “African Women in Maritime” (WIMAFRICA/ WIMA-NIGERIA), we shall always continue to strive for better economy and as it concerns women, for gender equality.”

“Gender equality is a right. Fulfilling this right is the best chance we have in meeting some of the most pressing challenges of our time-from economic crisis and lack of health care, to climate change, violence against women and escalating conflicts. Women are not only more affected by these problems, but also possess ideas and leadership to solve them. The gender discrimination still holding too many women back, holds our world back too,” she said.

However, she encouraged the girl child and future leaders, not to relent in good and hard work which make the society a better place for all to live in. “We must BREAK THE BIAS!” she added.

Meanwhile, the Pioneer Director-General of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Akerele stressed the need to have more female groups working in unity in a bid to tap into the opportunities available in the marine world, which is perceived as the male-dominated industry.

She expressed satisfaction that the female folks are beginning to venture into the maritime industry, adding that in the near future there will be equality in terms of participation in the sector..

The event was spiced with thrilling quiz sessions and debates by young secondary school girls on the historical events of IWD and the pros and cons of maritime industry.

 

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