IMO Day Celebration: WIMA, WISTA Collaborates To Address Maritime Security Issues

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… Urge Women To Tap Into Various Opportunities In Maritime Sector

In celebrating the international Maritime Organisation (IMO) Women’s Day, the Women in Maritime African (WIMAfrica) Nigeria Chapter and Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, has co-host a conference to address various issues affecting security of the maritime sector while urging women to explore various opportunities yet to be tapped into in the maritime sector.

The conference which was held on Wednesday in Lagos with the theme; “Maritime Security Issues and Blue Economy, gave an avenue to look into other sensitive maritime sector issues as it relates to gender equality.

Participating in the conference through zoom call the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani gave a nod of outstanding performance and collaboration of the two women maritime and shipping association for the rich deliberations at the conference.

Dr. Ajani emphasized the need for more collaborations in other to achieve victories in maritime safety and other aspects of the maritime industry.

She urged women to take up various trainings as relates to the maritime industry in building themselves”It would take a collaborative effort to achieve this but it’s attainable. Another issue is capacity building, but I have already observed that WISTA and WIMA are doing a lot in this regard. Women in maritime should educate themselves and build themselves in order to be more successful in their respective fields.

“We have training institutions in Nigeria where such training is done and I encourage women to key onto this opportunity and educate themselves,” Dr. Ajani said.

She also hinted that about twenty-six women under the Ministry of Transportation joined her in the conference room of the FMOT to participate in the event virtually.

Earlier speaking , the pioneer president of WIMA- Nigeria and immediate past continental president, Mrs Jean Chiazo-Anishere (SAN), said that a barrier-free working environment for women could not be achieved without an enduring and sustainable collaboration between all organisations of women in maritime sector.

Mrs Anishere noted that in maritime security and in reaching sustainable solutions, there was the need to address the root causes of piracy including the plight of coastal communities.

She commended the collaboration between WISTA-Nigeria and WIMA-Nigeria, in putting together the laudable conference.

In her words she said “This welcome and glorious declaration by IMO is to highlight the contributions of women in the maritime industry and meditate on issues affecting them, while proffering solutions to them.

“The declaration is also aimed at getting women to pick interest in maritime, so as to disabuse their minds on the erroneous belief that maritime is meant for the menfolk,” she added.

Also speaking at the event was the presidents of the two association Mrs Rollens Macfoy, President WIMA-Nigeria and Mrs Eunice Ezeoke,, president, WISTA-Nigeria

Mrs Rollens Macfoy, said that the event was not just about celebrating women but empowerment, professionally, to give women growth and capacity building required to be properly positioned in the industry.

She said that to encourage more women in the sector, they had an ongoing campaign for women to rise up to the call, take trainings, seminars and be particular about fields they want to go into.

“I am pleased with the turn out of today’s seminar but we can do more. This is the first time maritime women association are collaborating to host an event, this means that they are moving and are ready to take over,” she said.

Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, on her part noted that the event was very significant in the sense that IMO had recognized the need for women in the maritime sector to be more visible and focus on training to ensure breaking of barriers.

According to her, there is need to do more in showcasing women strides in the industry despite what we have on ground now, this will give women the opportunity to operate at a higher echelon of the Industry.

She noted that the issue of funding was one of the challenges women were facing in the industry as maritime and shipping were capital intensive venture.

“Women need to own vessels, we are looking forward to that day where women will be able to collaborate, form consortium and buy vessels, watercraft, barges, ferris so that they can be in a position to have a meaningful say in the industry.

“We are very happy that we have been given this opportunity to speak and showcase those area of challenges we face,” she quipped.

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