The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has urged the women in maritime industry to stop lamenting on gender inequality as reason why they don’t get appointments in Nigeria, rather he urged them to focus on competence in order to clinch more appointments and employment.
Delivering his keynote address at the 2019 World Maritime Day celebration with the theme: “Empowering Women In The Maritime Community,” in Lagos yesterday, Amaechi said appointment is not about gender but about competence and class.
According to him, women can only get appointment if they merit it.
He added: “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. It’s about the class you belong because there are millions of women and men who are dying of hunger. Women get appointment because they merit the appointment. I have female friends who are very educated and one is Amina Mohammed who was a Special Adviser to the former Secretary General of the United Nations”
“It was when Mr. President visited the United States and saw Amina, that he was impressed with her and made her a Minister”
“Amina got to where she is today because she has a vision and wouldn’t listen to distractions. Life is about courage.”
“So I will urge women in maritime to stop begging because it is their entitlement. Women are manipulators and can manipulate men to sign what they wouldn’t have not wanted to sign. Women are more brilliant.”
“God has blessed women as good manipulators that controls men. Women should take power by themselves in a radical manner. We should learn how to lift people out of poverty. If China can take about 800 million out of 1.5 billion population out poverty. Nigeria can also set that agenda by lifting people out of poverty.”
He therefore challenged successful women in maritime to lift other poor women in the villages and creeks who are victims of society.
Also speaking at the event, Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Rukayat Saraki called for increased amount of scholarship and mentorship to boost female participation in the shipping sector.
She added that women can excel and do as good as their male counterparts in a technology driven shipping industry, adding that focus should address key areas like education, employment and businesses owned by women.
However, she called for increased funding by government and mentoring by successful females in the industry for younger ladies
Saraki said brave women with competence can do as good as men are doing in the shipping industry.
While citing examples of where women participation in shipping has increased, she urged Nigeria to learn from China.
According to her, before its advancement in technology, China had only one percent of female of female participation in shipping which has increased to 28 per cent with increase in technology.
Women , she added, can still embrace their feminine nature and excel as professionals and inventors.
She said 26 cadets which represents 10.2 per cent of the total number of cadets in Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron are not enough.
Saraki admitted that some aspects of ports , shipping and allied operations are very physically demanding and challenging but with persistence, they can achieve increased participation.
The minister also lauded the activities of Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Ms Hadiza Bala Usman and other women holding key positions in the industry.