By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Port Manager, Lagos Ports Complex of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mrs Funmilayo Bola Olotu on Wednesday commemorated the International Women’s Day (IWD 2023) with the stakeholders at Apapa port, even as she charged women all over the world on striving for competency in order to endanger equality.
The theme of the 2023 International Women’s Day was “Embrace Equity”.
While highlighting the importance of women, Mrs Olotu commended the management of NPA for being gender friendly, adding that in Apapa port alone, there are several women as Head of Departments,
who at various times positively influenced Operations, Administration, Logistics, HSE, Security, Fire Services, among other departments at the Premier Port.
“We acknowledge and celebrate their beautiful footprints in the sands of maritime path in Apapa, even as we identify with other accomplished women all over the globe” Mrs Olotu stated
The Apapa Port Manager in her address, encouraged women to strive for competency, and to expect opportunities handed down to them on a platter of Gold.
She encouraged women to ensure that they lobby for gender parity in their various organizations.
Mrs Olotu urged the audience to help forge a gender equal world, as a sister, a mother, and a wife and a daughter, adding that this begins at home, especially in how female and male children are raised. She said that the idea must be inculcated into the children from their tender ages.
“The theme for this year International Women’s Day (IWD) is embrace equity, and I will always emphasize that it is not a call for competition, rather my own interpretation is that it is a call for competence, if you are competent, you do not need to struggle to be recognized, acknowledged or given your due place in any of the organizations.
What some of us do is that, we expect things to be given to us on a platter of Gold, it is not so.
“We are here today, joining the whole world to celebrate women achievements, educate and raise awareness about equality, call for positive change in advancing women.
“Lobby for accelerated gender parity, sometimes it is not by fighting, force or argument, my people usually say that, there are days that you have something to say, but there is no time to say them, and there are days you have time to talk, but there is nothing to say.
“One of the take home I want to you have today is that, however tough the provocation may be, sometimes it is better to keep quiet, my people used to say that, the name you will give to your new born child is inside of you, and until you pronounce it, the child won’t bear the name”
Mrs Olotu also chided women to desist from the “pull her down syndrome” adding that the greatest enemy of women sometimes is themselves through envying one another.
Also speaking, Lydia Agbashe, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO ENL Consortium, Princess Vicky Haastrup, said, “Women in Nigeria should not be discriminated against because we are women. Nigeria should always embrace equity in distribution of appointments to public offices and politics. There should be a legislation that prevents harassment and discrimination of women from participating in politics and from being appointed into public offices.
“To embrace equity is to encourage organisations to establish guidelines and procedures in addressing harassment and discrimination in the work place so that all employees are treated equally irrespective of their gender.”
The event was used to acknowledge women who positively influenced operations at Lagos port such as the First Female Port Manager in NPA – Princess Bassey of blessed memory, First Female Executive Director, NPA and former Port Manager at LPC, Ms. Elizabeth Aina Egharevba; Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium, Princess Vicky Haastrup; Managing Director, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL), Dr. Amy Jadesimi.
Others are: The First Female Port Manager LPC, Princess A. A. A. Aroloye; WILAT Founder, immediate past Port Manager, LPC and First Female General Manager, Marine and Operations at NPA, Hajia Aisha Ibrahim; Chairperson Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA Nigeria) and former Port Manager, LPC, Mrs Eunice Ezeoke; Mrs Folake George an accomplished Transporter and Olotu, who is now the longest serving female port manager in Nigeria.
She was recognized by NPA as the best performing port manager in Nigeria in 2021.