The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has observed that the maritime industry is the next big thing that will happen to Nigeria.
Dr. Peterside who said this while hosting the President and members of the Womens’ International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria who paid him a familiarization visit at the Maritime House in Lagos also expressed happiness that the women in the industry have united under a common umbrella.
The DG commended the contribution of women to the development of the Nigerian maritime industry noting that there could be no real growth for the sector if critical segments of the population like the women are excluded.
According to him, “we cannot talk about growth in the maritime industry if we exclude over 50% of those who should drive growth. By the latest statistics, women constitute over 50% of the world population. Even if you extrapolate it to Nigeria, women constitute close to 60%, I think 55% of the population in Nigeria. And so if we exclude 55% and have 44% or so compete for the available spaces, we have excluded the majority of Nigerians from the maritime industry, you cannot expect growth in the maritime industry if you exclude women.”
The DG also thanked the women for organising themselves into a strong voice and charged them to continue to contribute their quota to the development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
While pledging the Agency’s commitment to partner with WISTA Nigeria for the growth and development of the industry, Dr. Peterside observed that the Nigerian maritime industry is set for a historic growth that will be globally acknowledged.
In his words, “the maritime industry is the next big thing that will happen to Nigeria. We are a littoral state and we have all the trappings to excel in the industry and if we have our women on board we can sail to the top of the mountain.”
Earlier in her address, the President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Mary Hamman acknowledged the efforts of the DG in repositioning NIMASA and the maritime industry and pledged their support for his administration.
Mrs. Hamman sought the cooperation of the Agency for some of the association’s empowerment programmes for women and children impacted by the activities of shipping and related businesses.
WISTA Nigeria is an international association of women professionals involved in the maritime industry and the logistics chain whose main aim is to foster unity amongst members and act as an advocacy group for the sustainable development of the maritime industry.