The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi wants women to stop begging for affirmative action and to stand up to take what belongs to them.
The Minister gave the advice at an event in Lagos organised to mark this year’s World Maritime Day with the theme: “Empowering Women In The Maritime Community”
Mr Amaechi said rather than agitating for what belongs to them, women should help and support one another to take their rightful places in all sectors of the economy.
Amaechi said “I don’t agree with you on the idea of gender because the struggle is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, it’s everywhere in the world. Women get appointments because they merit the appointments. I have female friends who are very educated and brilliant, life is about courage, so I will urge women to stop begging for positions or contracts because it is their entitlement”.
He challenged successful women in the maritime industry to lift poor women in the villages and creeks who are victims of society.
If China can take about 800 million out of 1.5 billion population out of poverty. Nigeria can also set that agenda by lifting people out of poverty.” The Minister said.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki said though there has been an increase in the number of women in t AaQhe maritime industry, there is still room for improvement.
Senator Saraki encouraged those already engaged in the sector to find ways to change the narrative and ensure more gender inclusiveness through mentorship.
“Invariably, we are role models, agents of change for the next generation of women, the cause of gender equality will grow when many girls are encouraged to apply to the maritime academy”. Saraki said.
She particularly commended the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and the Nigerian Ports Authority, for being gender-inclusive.
On government’s efforts at ensuring security in the sector, NIMASA’s Director-General, Dr Dakuku Peterside said a harmonised operating standard procedure had been agreed between all the agencies vested with the responsibility.
Dr Peterside announced that Nigeria will be taking the lead in the forthcoming conference aimed at addressing the security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea.
Women who had blazed the trail in the industry, such as the first female Rear Admiral in the Nigerian Navy, retired Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu were recognised while prizes ranging from one hundred thousand naira to five hundred thousand naira as well as plaques and computers were given to ten students from various Universities in the Country who came tops in the annual essay competition initiated by NIMASA to mark the World Maritime Day.