…As Aisha Buhari leads others to encourage female involvement in seafaring
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside regretted that very few females were in the profession of seafaring, however, said that the agency was working with stakeholders to try to reverse the great imbalance.
Speaking in Lagos during a chat with journalists, Dr Dakuku noted that the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari will be leading other dignitaries and stakeholders in the maritime community
to campaign and encourage more female participation in seafaring and maritime trade as the country joins the rest of the world to mark this year’s Day of the Seafarer on June 25.
He said the presence of the President’s wife, who will be leading other prominent women in the maritime industry to the event scheduled to hold in Lagos, will be a boost to the efforts to attract more female involvement in the sector.
According to him, her presence would further boost the ongoing campaign to encourage the participation of more females in seafaring and the maritime sector, in line with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) campaign for this year to get more women into the hitherto male-dominated profession.
He noted that this year’s event, themed “On board with gender equality”, was geared towards encouraging more women to take advantage of opportunities in the maritime sector, particularly as seafarers; as Marine Engineers, Nautical Scientists, Marine Surveyors, Deck officers and even grow to become Master Mariners.
“Statistics available have shown that only 2 per cent of the total seafarers across the world are females and more disappointing is the fact that the majority of this percentage are from the Philippines a country which dominates the profession in huge numbers, raking in huge income / foreign exchange.
So there is a need for us to take conscious and deliberate actions to encourage women to take a career in seafaring,” Dakuku stated.
The NIMASA DG said this year’s Day of the Seafarer was unique, as it is focused on highlighting the fact that the seafaring profession is not a career solely preserved for men but one that can accommodate all genders.
He also disclosed that there would be a one-day sensitisation workshop on Monday in Lagos for over 400 Nigerian female students from all over the country to showcase the benefits of taking a career in seafaring.
Speaking on what NIMASA is doing to encourage women to take a career in the profession, Dakuku stated that the Agency was planning a robust awareness programme that would continue to enlighten Nigerians on the seafaring profession.
He said the Agency would also look into creating more avenues for Nigerian students through interventionist programmes and proper education.