The Managing Director, APM Terminals, Mr Martin Jacob, says the firm has employed six female crane operators within the last six months to encourage female participation in the maritime industry.
Jacob disclosed this when the executive members of the Women in Maritime Africa (WIMAfrica) Nigerian branch, visited him at the headquarters of APM Terminals in Lagos on Thursday.
The team also visited ENL Consortium and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos.
According to him, the terminals encourage female participation and has female staff that have risen to manager status in our company and they are more efficient than some male staff.
“Some of our female staff believe in an adage, which says ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better’ and they are really performing well in their various departments.
“I have been working in Nigeria for the past 20 years and with determination, some of the female staff members are doing well.
“APM Terminals do promote females who wish to continue their career in the maritime industry,” Jacob said.
He said that roads to ports were in a bad state, saying that management of the terminals could not be blamed for the delay.
Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of ENL Consortium, Princess Vicky Haastrup, attributed maritime challenges to bad leadership in the past.
Haastrup, who is also the Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), decried the deplorable sate of the ports access roads.
“The gateway of Nigerian economy is abandoned for years, thank God for the present port administrators and the former Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi for establishing railway system to take cargo out of the ports.
“Since 14 years the port was on concession, government promised to sign Ports and Harbour Bill into law, but a year after the concession it was yet to be signed.
“It is a national disgrace that the state of the access roads to our ports are in total mess, we need to match to the National Assembly to let them know that we need attention,” Haastrup said.
She, however, urged all the port users to be honest with their operations to enable port operation to be seamless.
Haastrup promised to support the WIMAfrica to accomplish their objective in mentoring women and building capacity for females who are interested in maritime career.
Earlier, the President of WIMAfrica, Nigerian Branch, Hajiya Bola Muse, commended the efforts of the management of APM Terminals for employing and promoting female staff up to managerial level.
Muse said WIMAfrica was a platform for training, capacity building, corporate and entrepreneurial development of African women in the maritime sector.
She said that WIMAfrica was established in Luanda, Angola on March 25, 2015 to encourage women develop a continental platform in Africa.
Muse said that the establishment of the body was a direct response to a request by Dr Nkosazana Diamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission.
“WIMAfrica Nigeria is a chapter of WIMAfrica, which adopted the maritime strategy 2050 to contribute to the building of Africa’s Blue Economy.
“Between 2017 and 2018, we have formally registered the association and gotten recognition of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the National Assembly and other national bodies.
“WIMAfrica Nigeria has empowered women in Makoko fishing community in Lagos by donating giant ovens for fish processing and preservation.
“We participated in international activities by providing community service during the World Ocean Day, while we donated cleaning materials to encourage others to keep our ocean areas clean,” Muse said.
She pleaded with the managing director of APM Terminals to encourage female staff of the authority to join the association to enable them improve women mentorship in the maritime sector.
Muse also solicited the support of both ENL consortium and APM Terminals toward sponsorship of the annual programme of the association scheduled to hold in November.