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International Women’s Day: WIMA Tasks Women to explore opportunities in Maritime Sector

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By Innocent Orok

Women in Maritime Africa, WIMAFRICA, Nigeria Chapter have urged women especially the young ones to embrace the numerous career and employment opportunities abound in the maritime industry.

The professional women group which celebrates this year’s International Women’s Day in Lagos with the theme ” Gender Equality today for Sustainable Tomorrow” Break the Bias also champion against discrimination in professionalism.

The Women in Nigeria were urged to harness emerging opportunities in the maritime sector such as investing in ocean freight, warehousing, ocean shipping logistics, trucking, sales, freight forwarding, air freight, rail and terminals.

The Secretary-General of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control of West and Central Africa, Captain Sunday Umoren, who deliver a lecture titled: ‘Empowerment and Job Opportunities in the Maritime Industry’, said the maritime industry is a major driver of the national economy with huge opportunities for women in the marine sector, given that almost every part of the sector reports skill shortages.

He said the economic impact created by the sector is vast and competitive. This, he said, includes job creation, attracting foreign investments, supporting allied industries and creating cosmopolitan cities.

Umoren noted that there is a shortage of women in the shipping industry, which has a significant effect on the economy. He said every €1 million the shipping industry contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creates another €1.6 million elsewhere in the economy.He also noted that for every direct job the shipping industry creates, another 2.8 are created elsewhere in the economy. “The shipping industry offers hundreds of different types of jobs. There is surely a job that will suit your skills and allow you to excel as you build your career. The maritime sector has a direct, indirect and induced impact on the economy of a nation,” he said.

He also urged the women to harness future opportunities in the sector ranging from, a knowledge-based era on the platform of modern technology, environmentally friendly shipping, untapped potential both concerning making shipping greener and by developing new and employing known technology across the ocean space.

President, Women in Maritime Africa (WIMA), Nigeria Chapter, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, said while the maritime sector controls 90% of the world economy, there is a need for men and women to work together to push the blue economy to achieve a Green economy.She said 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.

“We also have a female captain of vessels, so many women have become maritime lawyers, the bias has been broken and today there is nothing that stops a woman from becoming fulfilled professionally and as a woman in the home,” she said.

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

The high point of the event was a quiz and debate competition by some Secondary School students. Presentation of gift to the guest speaker , Captain Sunday Umoren and gift items to the winning and participating schools in the quiz and debate competitions . To crown it all, the president of WIMA , Nigeria Chapter, Mrs Rollens Macfoy promised to pay for the 2022 JAMB registration fees for 15 Senior Secondary School students (SSS3) who attended the event from various schools.

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