By Chiazo Ogbolu

The Women in Maritime Africa, Nigeria Chapter (WIMA-Nigeria) has promised to buy the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms for 15 girls that participated in its day.

The President of WIMA-Nigeria, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, made this known at the chapter’s event to celebrate the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) in Lagos on Tuesday.

The IWD is celebrated every March 8, and this year has the theme,” Gender Equality today for Sustainable Tomorrow #Break the Bias”.
Macfoy said that today was the day to commemorate, when ladies took the bull by the horn and decided to come into the white collar job, both the technical, administrative and others.

“To come out from the seat of being total housewife and start taking professional studies to enhance themselves; make a living as there is nothing that says that women cannot work and we know the situation in the country.
“This will make the women to have a sense of fulfilment and they should not succumb to any form of intimidation,” she said.

The WIMA-Nigeria president noted that a woman could do lots of things, cook, wash, tidy the house and all sorts, saying that any woman that did all these things could break the bias.
She pointed out that the maritime sector was a male-dominated sector and had been for a very long time.

According to her, it is just of recent that women started coming in.
Macfoy urged the students who attended the event never to doubt that they were valuable, powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve their dream.

She cited an example of Mrs Oluwadamilola Adebamipe, a Chief Engineer, who was introduced to the girls.
Capt. Sunday Umoren, Secretary General, Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (Abuja MOU) on Port State Control for West Africa, said that there was certainly no barrier for the women.
Umoren said that the key thing was knowledge and quality service.

He urged women to latch on the moving train as the lecture had clearly highlighted the imperative of maritime and the necessary requirements.
He further said that as widely reported all over the world, there were shortage of labour in the maritime sector, hence, there would be openings.
“However, the maritime sector is a well regulated sector and being regulated means that a lot of laws should be abided and this has to do with having the right knowledge.

“Having the right knowledge will give one an edge and this will make the person to excel in life and so the need to acquire the right knowledge.
“Yes there are openings in the sector; it is open but then you must meet all the requirements and the ray of excellence will make you the outstanding candidate,” Umoren said.

The Abuja MOU boss said the external challenge limiting women was because some people believed that maritime was a man’s career.
“Women are Navigators and Ship Chandlers. Women have always been there; it is for them to break that barrier and then move in.

“The industry is open to all; we have female captains today. Last year there was a vessel from India that all the crew, from captain down were all female, so what else do you need to break the barrier,” he said.

Umoren said that the issue of quota system would work in the industry, saying that in the scholarship given in the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), a certain percentage could be given and highlighted solely for women.

“So we need to have very strong policy that should be enforced and implemented,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that schools that participated in the event are; Onward High School; Apapa High School; Anglican Girls Grammar School; United Christian Senior Secondary School, Apapa; Seagate College, Apapa; and Princeton College, Surulere.

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