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The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman has called on women stakeholders in the nation’s Maritime Sector to step up efforts at breading fresh women players in the industry to succeed them effectively.
She stated this at a conference of women in Africa (WIMA-NIGERIA) which took place in Lagos.
She noted that in line with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) which took off about four years ago, there was need for inclusiveness and gender equality as a way of achieving the best for the world.
She disclosed that a “disheartening 2% of the workforce are women” who find themselves in sundry positions as administration, marketing, communications, law etc.
The Managing Director decried the influence of traditional and religious practices which exclude women from certain career opportunities, thus shutting out the girl child from being involved in Ports operations.
According to the Managing Director, “what I mean is that there should be concerted efforts at ensuring that more women get into professions in maritime sector and remain there with the prospect that will attain the management cadre”.
Accordingly, she advocated for serious encouragement of young girls to take interest in Science-Technology-Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in order to pursue career in Shipping, Marine, Operations and Engineering Sub-Sectors.
While calling for the establishment of specialized institutions and the provision of incentives/scholarships for girls, Hadiza Usman insisted that a mentoring system would invariably impact on the number of girls who enter the Marine Sector.
She reminded stakeholders that it was imperative to ensure good working conditions for women in the sector, noting that “we must also ensure working conditions that encourage the retention of women at work.”
Besides, she further averred that for efficient Port operations and raise the bar in productivity, there was need for human capacity development across board.
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