The Minister of State for Transportation , Senator Gbemisola Saraki has advised the various groups of women professionals operating in the Nigerian Maritime sector to operate under one umbrella to make it easy for the Ministry to relate with them.
This is as the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) has also appealed to the Journalist Associations in the maritime sector to come together under one body, to facilitate their receiving support from the Ministry of Transportation and its agencies.
The advice was given during the last session of the Minister’s interaction with the stakeholders in the maritime sector in Eko Hotel, yesterday.
The women groups, namely Women in Maritime (WIMA), Women in Logistic and Transport (WILAT), Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association(WISTA) and Women in Port Management of West and Central Africa( WINPMWACA) among others.
The group had during the Minister’s interaction with them, advanced separately, similar interests which border on support in the areas of capacity building, representation on board of Maritime agencies, and empowerment among others.
The Minister however said that since their interests are similar , it would be better for them to channel them under one umbrella, to make it possible for the ministry to quickly address them.
She explained that it is only when the women groups come together under one platform or a forum , with each of them still maintaining their identity,if they so wish , that it would be realistic and practicable for the Transportation Ministry to attend to their needs .
The Minister for instance in response to the demand of one of the Women groups for land allocation for construction of Secretariat, stated that there was no way the Ministry would accede to such request , because other groups would also want such benefit , one way or the other and the Minister would not have the capacity to meet the request.
She however said that if the women groups can approach the Ministry with one voice , it would be able to take up their interests in the areas of training, locally and even liaise on their behalf internationally , while it can synergise with the women affairs ministry to address some of their needs.
The NIMASA DG , who was present at the Stakeholders interactive session, had also admonished that it would be better for Journalists operating in the maritime sector to come under one group to approach the agencies in the sector and the Transportation Ministry for needs that would make them to function better in the industry.
He said if the approach was taken , the it would ease the difficulty associated with attending to professional groups with the same interests at different times , instead of just one group, which wil take care of the interests of many
. Jamoh stated that in the area of capacity building NIMASA has invested in local training of Maritime Journalists pointing out that the agency is still interested in doing more , due to the benefit that will accrue to the media men on their job.
According to him, when he was in charge of training at NIMASA , he was always reserving allocations bordering on foreign trips for Journalists to depeen their knowledge on the job , pointing out the journalists would be assisting NIMASA , other agencies and the Ministry to better support them, if they will make their demands under one umbrella.
The Minister agreed with the NIMASA DG that the Maritime Journalist groups , would also need to come together as one to facilitate attendance to their requests.
Apart from the League of Maritime Editors and Publisher(LOMEP) which has as members , experienced journalists, each of over 25 years of practice , who have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the maritime sector, other journalist associations exist in the maritime sector.
They include the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria(MARAN), Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria(MAJAN) , Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria(AMJON) and others representing Online and Print.
It will be recalled that the former Transportation Minister , Rotimi Amaechi had in the first year of his being a Minister in 2015 also advocated the separate mergers of different associations of professionals in the maritime sector , but while the shipowners came together under the Shipowners forum, the Journalist groups and others did not heed the advice due to a combination of factors.
However, Senator Saraki said that , she took up the new role of managing maritime sector five weeks ago, while her coming down to Lagos for an interactive forum with maritime sector stakeholders, was to take stock of situations in the sector, with a view to going back to finding solutions to them , so as to enhance the efficiency of the industry and the practitioners’.