The President of Dangote Group of Companies, and Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has identified the maritime industry as a key element in the efforts to re-stimulate the Nigerian economy.
Dangote said this in Lagos while commenting on the country’s economic potentials and the vast opportunities in Nigeria’s waters. This is coming as the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, said the maritime sector had been galvanized into an inclusive community of stakeholders and players working to grow the economy.
Tallen said it was an opportune time to invest in the Nigerian economy. Speaking ahead of the maritime Corporate Dinner and Merit Awards organized by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which is geared towards reinvigorating the economy, Dangote said, “The maritime sector is key to the development of the Nigerian economy. As stakeholders, we are committed to supporting the federal government towards achieving a vibrant maritime industry in Nigeria. My support is unflinching.
“I also commend the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for being focused on providing an enabling environment for industry players in the country, while recognizing a great job of the team under the leadership of the Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside. It is teamwork that makes it all possible and NIMASA is recognizing this by honouring its staff and industry stakeholders. The maritime industry awards is a very good initiative, one necessary to stimulate excellence in the Nigerian maritime industry.”
The agency has done very much to enhance maritime safety and security and created a viable platform for better indigenous participation and capacity building. It has tried to develop adequate manpower and infrastructure in the sector in line with international best practices.
In her own comments, Tallen commended NIMASA’s new push for gender equality under the current Director-General, saying it has created an environment where actors are comfortable to contribute their talents to the sustainable use of the country’s ocean resources for economic growth. She extolled the virtues of women in the Nigerian maritime industry and advised them to make the best use of the environment created for them to be their best.
According to the minister, “With last year’s focus on women empowerment by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and the 2019 theme of the Day of the Seafarer being ‘I am on Board with Gender Equality’, it is only fair and honourable that we commend the efforts of the DG NIMASA for embracing the message and meritoriously allowing and entrusting women staff within the agency with many top positions. This is commendable!”
She commended NIMASA’s support for the federal government’s economic diversification drive through tangible efforts to develop the blue economy. Tallen said, “Not only has the Agency in many ways transformed the maritime industry by advancing it to international specifications and requirements, it recognizes the outstanding actors who have facilitated and fostered this change. For this, congrats are in order and I pray that many others take a cue from NIMASA. It takes teamwork and this teamwork is being recognized.”
Nigeria is doing a lot to encourage female participation and equality in the maritime industry. The country has engaged in various capacity development initiatives for the female gender. The Federal Government’s commitment to the promotion of gender equality in the sector was further demonstrated by the First Lady, Dr. Aisha Buhari, who was well represented by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, during the 2019 Day of the Seafarer ceremony.
Besides, there are many women holding the positions of Director and other high offices in NIMASA and Dakuku has continued “to invite more females to participate in the already male-dominated sector, as they have a lot to offer.”