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Women In Maritime Network Advocate Review Of Labour Laws


....Want FG To Prioritize “Work From Home”

In a bid to recognise and celebrate females who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital workforce, women from the maritime Industry have advocated  for the review of Nigerian labour laws in furtherance for them to perform optimally and efficiently.

As a fall out of the International Women’s Day celebration held recently, the all female groups under the auspices of Women in Maritime Network- Nigeria also called on the government to prioritize Nigerian women to work from home through digital and technological advancement which according to them is stress free , thus the new normal globally.

At a combined meeting put together by representatives from Women In Maritme Africa (WIMA Nigeria), Women International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA Nigeria) and Women In Maritme of West and Central Africa – Nigeria (WIMOWCA) and Nigerian Chambers of Shipping on Thursday in Lagos, it was agreed that a position  paper should be presented to the ministry of Labour and that of Transportation on the need to adjust the labour laws.

According to them , there are several death cases recorded in some of the maritime agencies and parastatals noting that female staff from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have lost quite a number  as a result of stress and longer hours at work place.

Speaking at the event tagged”DIGITALL: Innovation and Technology For Gender Equality , President Women In Maritme of West and Central Africa – Nigeria (WIMOWCA)

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Oritsematosan Edodo Emore pointed out that in line with engaging the government, working from home should be the focal point of the meeting.

The Convener, Lagos International Maritime Week affirmed that the removal of women budgetary provisions from the Transport Ministry underscored the Importance of getting more women into key leadership positions were such decisions are taken.

Managing Partner , Hudson See Nigeria Limited / Continental Coordinator Women In Maritme WIMAfrica , Barrister Gloria Kanabe , President WIMA Nigeria/ CEO Ocean Deep Services Limited, Rollens Macfoy, President Women International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA Nigeria)/CEO- BONO Integrated Logistics Services Limited Lagos, Eunice Ezeoke , President Women In Maritme of West and Central Africa – Nigeria (WIMOWCA) / Chairperson Zoe Maritime Resources Limited Nigeria and Convener, Lagos International Maritime Week, Oritsematosan Edodo Emore and Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Vivian Chimezie Azubuike at a programme tagged ” DIGITAL: Innovation and Technology For Gender Equality held in Lagos on Thursday.

Emore who doubles as the Chairperson,  Zoe Maritime Resources Limited Nigeria ,expressed delight at the utilizing of technology to address the challenges of artisanal fishers who get better fees for their products and are better equipped to preserve them on account of several innovations.

“With this partnership, women are better placed to access funding for women’s education and training. We are all excited and we believe that we are set to begin reaping benefits of this partnership. As regards fishing, it’s important that we bring technology into the fishing industry.

She noted that the process of catching the fishes, preservation, storage, among other processes have evolved with technology, stressing the  need to sensitize and equip the industry, especially artisanal fishers.

On her part, Continental Coordinator Women In Maritme WIMAfrica , Barrister Gloria Kanabe disclosed that at a recently held conference in Lome Togo, the government has already put in place policies to encourage women work from home.

Kanabe who also doubles as the Managing Partner , Hudson See Nigeria Limited reiterated that Nigerian women in maritime operations must come together to champion the cause as part of efforts for female work with little or no stress.

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She expressed satisfaction of the development in Togo , calling on the leaders of the various associations to lay the foundation for future women in maritime to understand the importance of  digital and technological advancement

The WISTA-Nigeria President,  Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke in her remarks lamented that the federal government has not  been supportive by  giving women group the needed attention to attend international conferences.

Ezeoke added  that as separate groups their impact have been fragmented while they have also been unable to get requisite support from the federal government in attending crucial regional and international conferences.

According to her,  there could be a sort of moral support by recognizing women groups among stakeholders such that shipping companies, terminal operators, NLNG, oil firms are inclined to take up the financial support to enable women achieve the advocacy dreams.

“One of the highpoints for the collaboration was the inability to get financial support especially in attending international conferences. It is at global meetings that we can network with other women and major global operators. When one intends to contest for regional or international positions, you would need to know women in maritime in other countries to get their buy-in. ”

“We explained this to the Permanent Secretary to the Transport Ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Magdalene Ajani at a recent meeting and it was at that point she informed us that there has been no budgetary provision for women at the Ministry for some years. She encouraged us to start sourcing for funds. We, however, have examples of other African countries where the women were backed fully for these activities,” Ezeoke said.

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Meanwhile, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, President of WIMA Nigeria, expressed optimism that with the Women in Maritime Network operating in Nigeria by the end of the year,  will make giant strides like the force of gravity as more women will also be given a voice and attention.

She said that success has no gender even as she encouraged women to seek to be the best at what they do such that it becomes difficult to be marginalized.

“When you strive to bring out your value and worth by your doggedness, innovation, skills and humility; at this point, if you’re being marginalized there is something to shout and fight about.

“Nevertheless, a lot of organizations have an unwritten law or position that prevented women from rising to Directors or head of the agency. At such organizations, we have observed that gradually women have been emerging as Directors, heads of units and sometimes head of the agency. It is a gradual process and it will keep getting better,” Macfoy said.


By Roland Ekama