The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has
applauded the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for
initiating “ON BOARD WITH GENDER EQUALITY’’ campaign for this year’s Seafarers
Day Celebration, just as the First Lady, Dr. Aisha Buhari called for increase in women
participation in the Nation’s Maritime Sector.
According the Managing Director with such a programme in place, NIMASA is striving to
ensure a gender equality balance in the nation’s maritime Industry.
Speaking through the Executive Director, Marine and Operations of the Authority, Dr.
Sekonte Davis at this Seafarer’s Day Celebration, hosted by NIMASA, Hadiza Bala
Usman regretted that although gender imbalance is a global problem in the Labor
market, “The worst example of this phenomenon exist in the Maritime Community where
records from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) indicates that a
disheartening 2℅ of the workforce are women”.
The Managing Director also acknowledged the fact that the problem is not limited to
Africa alone but also continental due to traditional and religious practices which exclude
women from certain career opportunities, saying that “we should go past these
sentiments and give our citizens irrespective of gender the best opportunities that life
offers them”, she encouraged young girls to take interest in Science, Technology
subjects to enable them pursue career in Shipping Marine and Operations etc.
Hadiza Bala Usman, told Seafarers that NPA now grant women maternity leave 16
weeks as against 12 weeks while nursing mothers are also allowed to report to duty one
hour after official resumption time and closes one hour before closing as part of
encouraging Women. NPA had also commissioned a Crèche Facility for nursing
mothers. In her words “we must constantly remind ourselves that women matter and
that when we build women, we build humanity”.
The wife of the Vice President, Pastor Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo who represented Her
Excellency the First Lady, Dr. Aisha Buhari pointed out that she was delighted to be part
of this year’s event because of the fact that this year’s theme is centered on Gender
Equality and the Empowerment of Women in the Maritime Industry.
More so, she added that the 2019 day of Seafarers provide an opportunity for
Government, Ship-Owners and other Maritime Stakeholders to encourage the
participation of women in the Maritime Sector. Furthermore, she called on Government
Agencies most especially those in the Maritime Sector to ensure the achievement of the
United Nation’s sustainable development goal.
Earlier at the event the Director General Mr. Peterside Dakuku welcome guests from
various Organizations, Special Guest of Honor and Executives of various Unions who
were present, reiterating the fact that women are of paramount important to the
The Director General said the Agency will continue to pursue policies and programmes
on Gender Equality and Empowerment of women in the Maritime Sector, pointing out
that the Agency will put in place sustainable policies that will guarantee equal and fair
employment opportunities for both male and female Seafarers.
Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Alhaji Hassan Bello, in his own
contributions, stated that Gender Equality provides employment and also promotes the
country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), pointing out that it is important to create an
enabling environment for Women to thrive in seafaring profession, guarantying
adequate information, pay equality, and the prohibition of Sexual harassment.