The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has observed that the maritime industry is the next big thing that will happen to Nigeria.
Dr. Peterside said this while hosting the President and members of the Womens’ International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria when they paid him a familiarization visit at the Maritime House in Lagos.
Dr. Peterside commended the contribution of women to the development of the Nigerian maritime industry noting that there could be no real growth for the sector if critical segments of the population like the women are excluded.
The DG also expressed happiness that the women in the industry have united under a common umbrella.
According to him, “we cannot talk about growth in the maritime industry if we exclude over 50% of those who should drive growth. By the latest statistics, women constitute over 50% of the world population. Even if you extrapolate it to Nigeria, women constitute close to 60%, I think 55% of the population in Nigeria. And so if we exclude 55% and have 44% or so compete for the available spaces, we have excluded the majority of Nigerians from the maritime industry, you cannot expect growth in the maritime industry if you exclude women.”
The DG thanked the women for organizing themselves into a strong voice and charged them to continue to contribute their quota to the development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
While pledging the Agency’s commitment to partner with WISTA Nigeria for the growth and development of the industry, Dr. Peterside observed that the Nigerian maritime industry is set for a historic growth that will be globally acknowledged.
In his words, “the maritime industry is the next big thing that will happen to Nigeria. We are a littoral state and we have all the trappings to excel in the industry and if we have our women on board we can sail to the top of the mountain.”
Meanwhile, the President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Mary Hamman acknowledged the efforts of the DG in repositioning NIMASA and the maritime industry and pledged their support for his administration.
Mrs. Hamman also utiliized the medium to solicit for NIMASA’s support in some of the association’s empowerment programmes for women and children impacted by the activities of shipping and other related businesses.
Meanwhile, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has also called on youths in Rivers state to shun violence to ensure a secured future for themselves and a better society.
Peterside made this call in his message to mark the International Youth Day 2016, he noted that the future of every society depends on the wellbeing of its young people.
“Without doubt, the future of every society and indeed mankind depends on the wellbeing of young people. Unfortunately today, our youths in Rivers State are forced to live under the dangerous environment of a State that has been identified as one of the most dangerous states to live in Nigeria.
“However, my message to our youth is that they should not despair; they should not give up and indeed they should not quit as quitters cannot win and winners do not quit. Somewhere at the end of the tunnel is a ray of light signifying hope, greatness and prosperity for our youth, people and the future.
Dakuku added that when the right people take up the mantle of political leadership in Rivers State, young people will heave a sigh of relief because the perilous times of today will be quickly dumped in the abyss of history.