The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, on Thursday, said that it would build its members capacity to be able to take advantage of innovations and technologies in shipping.
The President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, made the disclosure at a news conference in Lagos.
According to Ezeoke, the capacity building will take place on Sept. 29 in Lagos during the association’s annual business luncheon.
She said that the event would feature the association’s magazine launch.
Ezeoke said that the industry experts would deliberate on critical innovations to enhance maritime tourism and safety, among other pertinent shipping issues.
“WISTA is a women professional association that is in 58 countries, involving women in management positions in the maritime industry, and it came to Nigeria in 1994. “It is about women promoting gender inclusivity in the industry, creating feasibility, capacity building, networking opportunities and career advancement in the profession.
“Annually, WISTA organises a business luncheon which is part of sensitisation in the industry and even outside the industry.
“Over the years, we organised lectures to teach our members,” she said.
She said that partnerships, research findings and how to make shipping and international trade better, safer and cheaper would be discussed at the event.
On women involvement in the industry, Ezeoke said that the industry needed more women as their level of participation was still low.
“We need more opportunities and leverage so that we see how far and good women can perform and manage businesses in the shipping sector,” she said.
Mrs Rita Egbuche, Chairperson of the business luncheon committee, said that discussions around innovation and digitisation would position the nation’s maritime sector for more profitability and seamless operations.
“Shipping is a big business, and we have to look at key areas that can sustain shipping.
“ A lot of businesses thrive on shipping; so, we have to look at innovation and digitisation which talk about bringing new ideas for efficiency and sustainability.
“Innovation and digitisation will reduce losses, delays, and spur maritime businesses; hence, our focus on this topic.
“Some of the issues to be discussed at the conference are marine environmental issues, safety issues in the industry,” she said.
Egbuche added that there would be award giving to stakeholders that had impacted well on the industry,.
Technology disruption open opportunities for women in maritime industry – WISTA Technology By Chiazo Ogbolu Lagos, July 19, 2022 Mrs Despina Theodosiou, President, Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), says technology disruption has opened opportunities for women in the maritime industry.
Theodosiou made this known at the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS) one-day women in shipping and maritime conference on Tuesday in Lagos.
The conference with the theme: “The Future of Shipping: Weathering the Storms, Sailing High,” was organised in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5.
It seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
She added that the industry should its operations remain competitive.
She said that women would bring other things to the table while working with men, such as their carefulness and analytical skills.
“There are many opportunities with this new technology that emerged and this will lead to great leadership when emulated but unfortunately, women need to come onboard to be able to utilise the space provided.
“Key challenges that should be addressed are lack of awareness, lack of female role models and unemployment,” she said.
She, however, added that shipping had an obligation to share equal opportunities for both men and women with technology disruption.
Mrs Jean-Chiazo Anishere (SAN), Trustee, African Women in Maritime (WIMAfrica), while presenting the brief of the conference said that the future of shipping depend on women.
Anishere said that women must make themselves visible with requisite knowledge and skills for it to happen.
“Analysts have postulated that for Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, 90 per cent is highly dependent on sea trade which accounts to over 85 per cent of external trade.
“Singapore is known as a maritime hub in the world and this is due to the contribution of the industry and so Africans having a healthy blue economy will help its trade.
“And the interesting part is that the theme of the conference is focused on women to ensure that gaps in the industry are bridged to have equality in the maritime space,” she said.
Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, the President, WIMA Nigeria, speaking on Leveraging Technology Disruption to Improve on Port Operation, urged the country to embrace smart port.
According to Ezeoke, smart port is where there are reduced numbers of people, paper, single window where all information can be gotten in terms of clearance or cargoes.
“Maritime is an international business where different countries of the world interface in the port and so for us to be at par with other countries in terms of technology infrastructure, we should strive to develop our technology.
“Leveraging technology like artificial intelligence, blockchain will ensure time wastage is reduced, reduce accident, fatigue as a result of trying to locate where a cargo is,” she said.
In his contribution, Dr Emeka Akabogu, the Principal Partner, Akabogu Law, speaking on shipping trade challenges, noted that the challenge African countries faced had to do with logistics and formalities.
According to Akabogu, to achieve a liberalised market across the region, there is a need to improve, expand and promote intra-African trade which just stood at 14 per cent.
“It is unfortunate that Africans don’t trade much with countries within their region and this is attributed to logistics and formalities.
“For shipping, many years ago, a company was established to help ship cargo but folded up because trade within the country was not enough to sustain it, all these should be looked into to boost trade,” he said.
Akabogu urged women to be organically involved in the maritime industry to be visible.
“Women should be seen for what they can offer and not because they are women,” he said.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, has urged the Maritime Women Association to coordinate and integrate their efforts toward engendering better positioning and development of the port industry.Saraki gave the advice during a stakeholders meeting with the association on Friday in Lagos.She also stressed the importance of more women inclusiveness in the maritime profession for balanced representation and to further develop the industry.“In other for us to seek for more funds both in and out side the industry and for maritime men to take us seriously, we need to come under one umbrella.“The same thing happened in the United States where all the women bodies formed one umbrella which has made them stronger.“We may have parallel bodies that will be powerful and be interfacing with the government which will help in achieving the set goals.“Please consider this request for the betterment of the maritime women to enable them speak with one voice,” Saraki said.Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, President, Women International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, commended the minister for her unrelenting efforts in ensuring that there was level playing ground for gender equality in the maritime sector.Ezeoke urged for the elevation of women in top administrative positions in the sector and charged women to participate in decision making processes that impact the sector.Also, the President of Women in Logistics and Transport, Mrs Khadijat Shabi-Sheidu, appealed to the minister to use her office to enable the female maritime practitioners to easily access loans with low interest.President, Women in Maritime Africa (WIMAfrica), Mrs Rollens Macfoy, said the WIMAfrica, championed the cause for the blue economy, maritime security and good welfare for seafarers.Macfoy said that since the establishment of the association in 2015, the association had sponsored cadets as well as seafarers on international studies.She called for support to enable them train more women professionals in different discipline in the maritime sector to enable them compete in the men dominated industry.A Former Continental President of WIMAfrica, Mrs Jean Anishere, noted the ability of the former Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, to harmonise all Nigerian Ship Owners Association together to interface with government.She said the collaboration was easier for ship owners because they were not international bodies adding that it could be difficult for women in maritime as they had international bodies.The President of Nigerian Maritime Lawyers Association (NMLA) , Mrs Funke Agbor, advocated the need for women to be relevant in the decision making in the maritime industry.Agbor called for more understanding among women adding that there was need to have more qualified maritime women under the set umbrella organisation.Women in Maritime West and Central Africa (WIMOCA), Mrs Tosan -Edodo-Emore, and Mrs Victoria Tafa, Women leader, Port Management of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) called for equal opportunities for women in the maritime sector. . www.NAN news.ng
Dr Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, on Wednesday urged maritime women practitioners on the need for collaboration to achieve maritime safety, security and build capacity.
Ajani made the call at the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, and the African Women in Maritime (WIMAfrica) conference to mark the International Maritime Organisation Women’s Day.
The theme of the conference was: ”Maritime Security: Issues and Blue Economy.”
She said that women in the maritime sector had done a lot for the industry which made the global maritime section to create a day to celebrate women.
“I am very proud of all of you women latching onto this to make sure that we mark the inaugural day in the history of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“I thank in particular WIMA and WISTA-Nigeria for collaborating to have this programme today. I have been in the background listening and proud of the lectures put up to educate everyone of us,” she said.
She said that while celebrating the victory in the maritime security, there was the need for everyone to collaborate to be able to achieve victory too in maritime safety and capacity building.
“We have training institutions in Nigeria where such training is done and I encourage women to latch onto this opportunity and educate themselves,” she said.
Also, Mrs Jean Chiazo-Anishere (SAN), a maritime lawyer, pointed out that a barrier- free working environment for women could not be achieved without an enduring and sustainable collaboration between all organisations of women in martime sector.
Chiazo-Anishere commended the collaboration between WISTA-Nigeria and WIMA-Nigeria, in putting together the laudable seminar.
“This welcome and glorious declaration by IMO is to highlight the contributions of women in the maritime industry and meditate on issues affecting them, while proffering solutions to them.
“The declaration is also aimed at getting women to pick interest in maritime, so as to disabuse their minds on the erroneous belief that maritime is meant for the menfolk,” she said.
She noted that in maritime security and in reaching sustainable solutions, there was the need to address the root causes of piracy including the plight of coastal communities.
Mrs Rollens Macfoy, President WIMA Nigeria, said that the event was not just about celebrating women but empowerment, professionally, to give women growth, capacity building that was required to be properly positioned in the industry.
She said that to encourage more women in the sector, they had an ongoing campaign for women to rise up to the call, take trainings, seminars and be particular about fields they want to go into.
“I am pleased with the turn out of today’s seminar but we can do more. This is the first time maritime women association are collaborating to host an event, this means that they are moving and are ready to take over,” she said.
Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, WISTA-Nigeria President noted that today’s event was very significant in the sense that IMO had recognised the need for women in the maritime sector to be more visible and focus on training to breaking of barriers.
According to Ezeoke, it means that even with the strides of women now, there is aneed for a lot to be done to showcase them.
“This will give them the opportunity to operate at a higher echelon of the Industry,” she said.
She noted that the issue of funding was one of the challenges women were facing in the industry as maritime and shipping were capital intensive venture.
“Women need to own vessels, we are looking forward to that day where women will be able to collaborate, form consortium and buy vessels, watercraft, barges, ferris so that they can be in a position to have a meaningful say in the industry.
“We are very happy that we have been given this opportunity to speak and showcase those area of challenges we face,” she said.
By Chiazo Ogbolu
Maritime stakeholders on Thursday disclosed that an improved ease of doing business is a criteria for Nigeria to be eligible as member of the International Maritime Organisations (IMO) council.
They made the call at the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association, Nigeria (WISTA.NG) summit with theme as : “Objective Appraisal of Nigerians’ Eligibility for International Maritime Organisations (IMO) Council Membership”.
They added that though, the Federal Government had an executive order on ease of doing business, the turnaround time for vessels, bottlenecks faced at ports and many other issues negate the order, giving the country a bad image.
Ms Adaora Nwonu, Assistant Director, Special Duties, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), noted that the country should look into other issues including quality of the country’s representation, last meeting preparation, non-automation of system among others.
“Since 2011, we have been contesting and losing. We need to do a post-mortem to see if steps taken to improve our chances works and work on some issues that worked against us.
“We need to be objective and tell ourselves the truth, is the country really ready for the next IMO election coming up or do we wait for 2023.
“We need to do some detailed assessment on where we want to be, doing a shoddy and poor preparation just months or a year to the election will not help the country,” she said.
Nwonu said that government came up with ease of doing business to change things, but government agencies had also been accused of defaulting the executive orders.
Mr Emeka Akabogu, Senior Partner, Akabogu and Associates, called for a coordinated trade merchant strategy to provide experience that would push Nigeria’s perception for eligibility in IMO seat.
“The problem Nigeria is facing is more of issues of perception by countries who are voting due to issues in our international trade as IMO pushes for speedy trade facilitation.
“Ship owners spend millions of dollars to get their vessels berth in our ports.
“Treatment of vessels that have issue like the MT San Padre Pio vessel that stayed three years on Nigerian waters on allegation of bunkering despite proof to the contrary and even interventions,” he said.
Akabogu noted that being a member of IMO might not improve the country’s maritime space if the needful such as having a single window, trade portal was not addressed.
Ms Sharon Amu, Manager, Pollution Control Nigerian Ports Authority, said that it was good to consider waiting till 2023 to ensure all papers are implemented and reflect in the ease of doing business in the country.
“All maritime government agencies must stand as one and there is need to work on our political strength so that we improve our chances,” she said.
Mrs Nneka Obianyor, a Ship Registrar and Deputy Director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), noted that Nigeria’s biggest challenge was piracy.
Obianyor added that the deep blue assets and the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act tackled this.
“Getting into the IMO council required lots of effort, commitment and strategic planning.
“With the right support and collective efforts by all stakeholders and full backing of government, Nigeria will surely get into the council for the 2022 to 2023 biennium,” she said.
Earlier, Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, WISTA.NG President , noted that the way forward was for Nigeria to look inward and further develop capacity and infrastructure to change the perception of the country.
According to her, regulatory agencies need to enhance the sector reforms to conform with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Nigeria as a nation must consider the acquisition of a national career with her flag and this will provide sea-time experience for her teeming cadets and seafarers,” she said.(NAN)
The outgoing President of the Women International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, Mrs Mary Hamman, has urged incoming executives of the association to work as a team and create more awareness.
Hamman made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Thursday, ahead of the election and inauguration of new executive members on Feb. 20.
“They should not wait for anyone before taking responsibilities because it will end up that nobody is doing anything.
“Everybody’s responsibility is no one’s responsibility. That it why all the executives should be committed and dedicated to the position they campaigned for.
“The incoming executives should be at alert at all times and try to keep members abreast with what is happening in the maritime industry at all times.
“I served for four years and during my tenure, we were able to donate fishing boats, engines and other accessories to fisher women in Aguleri, Anambra and Ogbuagu fishing community in Enugu.
“Beneficiaries from the two states were very happy to know that there were women who cared about them,” she said.
Hamman said that the governors of the two states had keyed into WISTA ‘s project and ensured that other fisher women in various communities in the states also benefitted from the association’s support.
She said that her team was able to create credibility and improved on networking, which had exposed women in maritime to numerous opportunities both in and outside the country.
The outgoing president said that with new Memorandum of Understanding signed with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the association had been included as part of the technical committee for IMO programmes for gender participation.
Hamman said funding was a major challenge during her tenure, but the association still managed to sail through.
She said members’ annual dues and contributions had also supported her tenure in succeeding in many activities, including mentoring students from universities and secondary schools as well as female children to choose careers in maritime industry.
According to her, another challenge she faced was getting women interested in what they were doing.
She appreciated members of the association for giving her and the executives both moral and financial support that yielded success during her tenure.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Pauline Tallen, on Tuesday described girl-child education as the fulcrum for balancing gender gap in the society.
Tallen spoke at the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) 2019 Annual Business Luncheon, Magazine launch and 25th Anniversary.
The theme of the event was,”Balancing the Gender Gap in Maritime Participation”.
According to the minister, focus on the the girl-child can be achieved through collaborating with the Ministry of Education to promote enrolment, retention and completion rate of girls in schools at all levels.
Balancing gender gap in the maritime sector connotes that there is inequality in opportunities and needs to be rectified.
It will require a pool of well educated and professional women who are well equipped with the basic leadership skills and Information and Communication Technology know-how to impact on the girl-child.
It requires that from the onset young girls receive quality education to prepare them to make the rightful choices in life; especially in careers in maritime,” she said.
Tallen said that there was an increased demand for mainstreaming gender and application of gender indicators for development planning and programming, but it was limited by low levels of technical expertise.
She said that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs would be partnering with WISTA in the task of mainstreaming gender in the sector.
Mainstreaming gender equality is a commitment to ensure that women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences are integral to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all legislation, policies and programmes.
This will ensure that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality,” she said.
The minister emphasised the need for a conducive environment for effective participation, alliance building and strengthening partnerships for action in support of gender equality, empowerment of women and girls and the realisation of their human rights.
She said that this could only be possible ”when we put aside our differences and work together as a strong force to achieve the long yearnings and aspirations of Nigerian women”.
In her goodwill message, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, urged women in maritime to collectively aspire and pursue working toward balancing gender gap.
Bala Usman said that pursuing gender balancing would enable women to get fair advancement that was commensurate with their qualifications and experience.
When a woman is empowered, you are invariably empowering a whole generation that will benefit from the quality of leadership that is exceptional and unique to women.
” The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as enshrined in SDG (4,5,8,.10) aim for inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting life long learning opportunities for all; Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls; decent work and economic growth; Reducing inequality in the lives of women.
Emphasis should be laid on innovation by enabling women discover themselves, build personal and corporate brands, identity that differentiate them in society making them not only unique and authentic but visible to rise into role of leadership and influential position,” Bala-Usman said.
She said that women were not asking for equality in terms of power with men but earnestly calling for equal opportunities, as females are special gift from the unfathomable unknown and greatly endowed with special qualities.
Bala-Usman said that there was evidence to show that institutions with more women leaders have better performance and achieve higher economic growth.
Mrs Mary Hamman, President WISTA, urged women to come out from their shells, as everything now was computerised, so they could stay in their homes and participate in the industry.
According to her, WISTA did not just grow without evaluation; they have done so much but have to do more because of the many potentials in the maritime industry.
Mr Dakuku Peterside, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) urged women to come together as an association to brainstorm on ways to reduce gender gap in the industry.
Peterside, represented by Hajia Jumai Musa, said that truly women are under-represented not only in the maritime industry but everywhere, urging them to work together to put themselves in the picture.
Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle