The Vice Chairperson, ENL Consortium, Princess Dr. Vicky Hastrup has recounted difficulties encountered in managing Nigerian dockworkers, saying that over 5,000 dockworkers at her company had at one time in the past came after her life.
ENL Terminal, one of the port concessionaires at Apapa port currently has the highest number of dockworkers in Nigeria.
Speaking at the weekend at the Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime Conference (TAAM) held at University of Lagos, Princess Hastrup however said that Nigerian dockworkers are no longer who they used to be.
Hastrup who is the chairperson of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) said that the Nigerian workers have now gone through a lot of reforms through her unrelenting efforts.
“They call me mama of dockworkers and I am happy to be their mother because through me, reforms of Nigerian dockworkers have taken place in all the Nigerian ports”
“Dockworkers are not what they used to be, they are reformed, they are human beings, they are good people, they are hardworking people, but it all happened through Princess Vicky Hastrup by the grace of God”
“I fought for the course that I believed in, I fought because I know that I needed to fight to be able to succeed and because I know I had a job to do”
“From NPA back then, I heard people saying that I was playing with my life, they said the dockworkers will kill me,I told the dockworkers, you want to kill me, people die for courses but you cannot kill me, if you cannot kill your mother, your sister or families, you can not kill me”
“Here I am standing today, they actually came after me, dockworkers over 5,000 came after me, they wanted to kill me, but I am standing, I did not run away because I decided I was not going to run” she recounted
The ENL boss also advocated that for the women gender to be given more opportunity to thrive in the maritime industry, adding that they are more passionate in succeeding that men folks.
According to her, there has to be a law at the National Assembly that would say that every business enterprise must engage at least 50% of women.
“We are not asking for too much, based on our numbers, we would be asking for it very soon”
“Women should not be discriminated against in the scheme of things, in appointments, in politics, at work place and so on” she said