Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, has charged women in the maritime industry to stop using gender inequality as the reason why they don’t get appointments in Nigeria.
He used the opportunity to charge them to focus on building their competence and lifting one another rather than keep complaining.
The minister while speaking at the 2019 World Maritime Day celebration with the theme: “Empowering Women In The Maritime Community,” in Lagos on Thursday, stated that appointment was not based on gender but about the class you belong to.
According to him, women can only get appointments if they merit it.
He added, “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 because there are millions of women and men who are dying of hunger. Women get appointments because they merit the appointment. I have female friends who are very educated.”
“And one 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 because it is their entitlement. Women are manipulators and can manipulate men to sign what they wouldn’t want to sign. Women are more brilliant.”
The minister urged women in the country to take power by themselves in a radical manner and learn how to lift people out of poverty.
He said, “If China can take about 800 million out of 1.5 billion population out of poverty. Nigeria can also set that agenda to lift people out of poverty,” he said.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, while speaking at the same event called for an increased amount of scholarship and mentorship to boost female participation in the shipping sector.
Gbemisola stated that women can excel in the technology-driven shipping industry as much as their male counterparts.
She added that focus should address key areas like education, employment and businesses owned by women.
The minister called for increased funding by government and mentoring by successful females in the industry for younger ladies
Saraki said brave women with competence can do as much as men are doing in the shipping industry.
While citing examples of where women participation in shipping had increased, she urged Nigeria to learn from China.
According to her, before its advancement in technology, China had only one per cent of female participation in shipping which has increased to 28 per cent due to an increase in the use of technology.