By Godwin Oritse
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has called for the involvement of more women in the development of the blue economy project with a view to growing the sector.
Peterside also praised women in the country for their contributions and achievements in the typically male-dominated maritime sector.
Speaking at the International Women’s Day, which is marked globally in March every year, Dakuku said women in Nigeria had made enormous contributions to the socio-economic wellbeing of the country adding that this could not be wished away.
But he sought the more active involvement of women in the efforts to build a strong blue economy.
He said “Women are wonderful builders and good asset keepers, and Nigerian women are even much more. I salute and respect you, great daughters of Nigeria, on this occasion of International Women’s Day for your monumental contributions and achievements in the maritime sector, in particular, and Nigeria, in general.
“As we strive to build a virile Blue Economy capable of diversifying our national economy and creating prosperity for the Nigerian people, I call for the more active involvement of women. I seek your participation as equal partners in the collective task of taking Nigeria to the next level so that together we all can proudly accomplish this historic duty of creating a continental paradigm for the sustainable use of the world’s ocean resources for the overall good of mankind.
“In line with the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, which is ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change,’ I call on the womenfolk in Nigeria to roll up your sleeves and get ready to sail with the menfolk. And safely we shall land Nigeria as an El Dorado of jobs, security, and prosperity.”
Dakuku has been a relentless advocate of greater women participation in the maritime sector in Nigeria and Africa, and this accord is with the intense global push for professional and social equality. And it is in line with the focus of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) this year, which is, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.” International Women’s Day, a United Nations recognised day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. Last year the official UN theme for the day was “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Changing Women’s Lives.”