By Seama Lazarus Jacobs
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amechi has urged women in Nigeria’s maritime industry to stop begging for appointments and rather rise up courageously to the demands of the industry.
Delivering his keynote address on Thursday at the 2019 World Maritime Day celebration held in Lagos under the theme: “Empowering Women In The Maritime Community”,
Amaechi stated that appointment shouldn’t be about men or women but should be about the class one belongs to.
According to him, “I don’t agree with you on the idea of gender because the struggle is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, it’s everywhere in the world. It’s about the class you belong to because there are millions of women and men who are dying of hunger.
“Women get appointment because they merit the appointment. I have female friends who are very educated and brilliant, and one of them is Amina Mohammed who was a Special Adviser to the former Secretary-General of the United Nations. It was when Mr President visited the United States and saw Amina, that he was impressed with her and made her a Minister.
“Amina got to where she is today because she has a vision and wouldn’t listen to distractions. Life is about courage.
“So I will urge women in maritime to stop begging for positions or contracts because it is their entitlement”
“ Women should take power by themselves in a radical manner. We should learn how to lift people out of poverty. If China can take about 800 million out of 1.5 billion population out of poverty. Nigeria can also set that agenda by lifting people out of poverty.”
He, therefore, challenged successful women in maritime to lift other poor women in the villages and creeks who are victims of the society.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki called for an increased amount of scholarship and mentorship to boost female participation in the shipping.
She stated that women can excel and do as good as their male counterparts in the technology-driven shipping industry, adding that focus should address key areas like education, employment and businesses owned by women.
She also called for increased funding by government and mentoring by successful females in the industry for younger ladies
While citing examples of where women participation in shipping has increased, she urged Nigeria to learn from China.