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FESAN, WIMAJ decry poor female participation in professional seafaring



FESAN, WIMAJ decry poor female participation in professional seafaring
FESAN, WIMAJ decry poor female participation in professional seafaring

The Minister of State for Transportation, Ms Gbemisola Saraki

… Lament absence of any deliberate Strategies guaranteeing fair future for female seafarers!***

The Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria (FESAN), a support/empowerment, mentoring and advocacy platform for Nigerian female seafarers has expressed grave concern that there are only 567 females, representing 9.3 percent, out of the 6039 registered seafarers in Nigeria.

The advocacy body which bared its view in a communique last Thursday, in collaboration with Women in Maritime Journalism WIMAJ, headed by Ezinne Azunna, also grieved the absence of any deliberate Strategies guaranteeing fair future for female seafarers; noting that even those policies hitherto ‘mouthed’, were neither implemented nor prioritised in Nigeria.

“There is a poor Implementation of policies that support maternity leave for female seafarers, thereby cutting short their career when they decide to start having offspring.

“There are discriminations against female seafarers and gender inequality limits them from being mainstreamed.

“Openings for female seafarers to settle into shore-based roles after their lives at sea will be valuable for inclusion in the industry and will contribute to growth” the group posited, adding that digitisation remains the credible future of Seafaring.

“Digitisation is the future of seafaring, especially for females it will close the perception of females not having the physical strength to work onboard the ship;

“Vessels in Nigeria are seldom built to accommodate female seafarers” they further observed, positing that Competence should be the criterion for engaging seafarers anchored to training and capacity development, and which for female seafarers needs to be prioritised.

**The participants which dissected the theme: “Fair Future For Female Seafarers” with the Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki delivering the keynote address, also remarked that there was poor collaboration between cadets and foreign flag states.

“There is no collaborative efforts between Nigerian Maritime institutions and foreign flag state to promote the engagement of Nigerian cadets on international vessels”, the attendees agreed.

They however agreed with the submission that the NSML supports the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) being currently powered by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Koni Duniya, Founder and President of FESAN

They took cognisance of the fact that 19 female cadets from the NSDP/SCDP are currently undergoing sea training onboard NSML managed vessels and are considered to be ” very talented”; lauding females competencies.

“Female Seafarers have shown that they have enough physical energy for the work where required;

“More females are needed in shipping to ensure sustainability and drive effective decision making;          Female Seafarers need more visibility to showcase their work and competence

“Few ship owning organisations have in-house policies that foster growth, visibility and accomplishments of female seafarers”, they further agreed, before making following recommendations:

“Mentoring of younger females seafarers is necessary in the quest for a fair future;

“A safe and secure maritime domain will further encourage more females to join and thrive in seafaring;

“There is disrespect for female professionals due to cultural bias which insists on male supremacy;

“The is no fail-proof system for reporting and dealing with sexual harassments/molestation.

Consequently, the attendees gave the charges below based on emerging observations:

*That FESAN should pilot more engagements among female seafarer and stakeholders in the country necessary to decide measures and modalities for the increased women participation in the maritime sector

*Government should create specific opportunities such as encouraging quotas for females on vessels trading in Nigeria, training and development for women;

*NIMASA should increase its female training quota in the NSDP;

*Maritime industry stakeholders should review policies on pregnancy and maternity leave to ensure convenience for females working onboard vessels;

*Configuration of ships to accommodate females should be encouraged and employers can employ more females on the same vessel to minimise the challenge of cabin sharing;

*Female seafarers should also invest in self development in preparation for opportunities they seek;

*Training of female seafarers on automation should be prioritised;

*More stakeholders should introduce and implement policies that support the growth and visibility of female seafarers;

*Nigeria should work towards having an all female crewed ship;

*Mutual Respect and Professionalism should be demanded from both genders working on board vessels and disrespect should be sanctioned;

*A system that decisively deals with sexual molestations on board vessels is required;

*Collaborations between indigenous maritime institutions and foreign flag state through accreditations can boost engagement of indigenous cadets by foreign vessels.

Participants at the event included WIMAJ, Koni Duniya, Founder and President of FESAN; Ezinne Azunna, Chairperson WIMAJ, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) represented by Ms Helen Buni, its Principal Programme Assistant, on Resource Mobilization and Partnerships, Technical Cooperation Division.

Project Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, Media Traction, Mrs Ezinne Azunna

Those who delivered Goodwill Messages included Mr. Temisan Omatseye, former President, African Shipowners Association (ASA) and the former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NIMASA); (WIMAJ chieftain, Mrs Hope Orivri; Hajia Bola Muse- President, Women in Maritime Africa (WIMA) Nigeria; Mrs Chizoba Anyika- Secretary WISTA Nigeria; Mr. Emmanuel Maiguwa, President, Alumni of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron (AMANO); Madam Obiageli Obi- former Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mrs Rollens Macfoy- MD Ocean Deep (a Crewing Agency); and Mrs. Chizoba Ejiofor-Human Resources, Starzs Investments amongst others.

Those who actively participated also included Capt. Blessing Edidiong Abalo, the First Female Master Mariner in Nigeria; Capt. Sunday Umoren –Acting Secretary, Abuja MOU; Mr Henry Agbodjan- HR Manager NSML and Engr. Omeaku Glory, a certified female with 2nd Engineer onboard, as members of the panel of discussants, who frontally tackled the questions put out by the IMO to determined what a fair future would indeed mean for female seafarers, and tailored their responses appropriately.

Journalists, agencies, Industry leaders, technocrats, seafarers and other stakeholders equally attended the event, with everyone agreeing that the Pandemic not only threw open the critical roles seafarers play in facilitating global trade; but also the need to boost female participation in professional seafaring.







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Smugglers Altering Vehicles’ Chassis Numbers–Customs



Smugglers Altering Vehicles’ Chassis Numbers–Customs

Mr Chedi Wada, the outgoing Comptroller of the Federal Operations Units (FOU) Zone “B”, Kaduna says smugglers are now altering vehicles’ chassis numbers in the bid to perpetuate their nefarious activities.

Wada spoke to newsmen on Wednesday in Kaduna after handing over the leadership of the unit to his successor, Mr  Ahmadu Shuaibu.

He, therefore, underscored the importance of public awareness and compliance with government policies.

Wada reflected on the myriad of achievements and challenges encountered during his tenure.

He commended the resilience of his team in tackling the hurdles posed by nationwide border closures.

According to him, with unwavering support from the Comptroller-General  (CGC), Mr Bashir Adewale, saying that they have successfully curbed smuggling activities within the zone.

He said,  “FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna is now well-equipped and effectively managed, marking significant strides during my six-month stewardship.”

Wada acknowledged the pivotal role of the media in showcasing the unit’s efforts while urging the officers to prioritize knowledge acquisition and diligent execution of duties.

He said, “Total commitment and dedication have been the cornerstone of my successes.”

Wada also urged  his colleagues to follow suit,  disclosing that with his redeployment to the NCS Headquarters in Abuja, he will work under the Enforcement, Investigation, and Inspectorate Unit

He also assured of his continued dedication to service, WARING smugglers that his successor is an enforcement expert who is prepared to take charge.

Wada expressed confidence in the incoming comptroller’s abilities to build upon the foundation laid, signalling tough times ahead for the smugglers.

Wada’s redeployment marked the end of his duty of combating smuggling and fostering organizational commitment within FOU Zone “B” Kaduna.

It was reported that until his redeployment, Shuaibu was the Comptroller, Ogun I Area Command, Idi-Iroko. 

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Q1 2024: Tincan Customs Generates N303.9bn, 139% Higher Than Q1 2023



Q1 2024: Tincan Customs generates N303.9bn, 139% higher than Q1 2023

Comptroller Dera Nnadi, the Customs Area Commander (CAC), Tincan Island Ports (TCIP), says that the command generated a revenue of N303.9 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

Nnadi said in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos that the Q1 revenue generated in 2024 was 139 per cent greater when compared with revenue of the same period in 2023.

In the statement signed by NN Okwara, the Public Relations Officer of TCIP, the customs area commander said that the difference in revenue between Q1 2024 and Q1 2023 was N177 billion.

“The command recorded a total collection of N303.9 billion revenue in the first quarter of 2024, as against N126.8 billion recorded in the same period of 2023.

“The breakdown shows that the command collected a total of N88.4 billion in January 2024 which is 107.9 per cent upscale from the same period of 2023 which was N42.5 billion,” he said.

The customs CAC said further that the command also generated N100.3 billion in February 2024, which is 141. 8 per cent higher than the revenue collected in the same period in 2023 which was N41.5 billion.

He explained that in March 2024, the command collected the sum of N115.1 billion in revenue as against N42.8 billion collected in the same period of 2023.

Nnadi appreciated officers for embracing service delivery for the stakeholders and for teamwork which resulted in an increase in revenue collection.

He said: “The improvement and success is due to the efforts put in place by all units in the Area Command, adding that their efforts are highly appreciated.

“I wish to remind the officers that all stakeholders should be held in high esteem and treated with respect but with due diligence to identify compliant and non-compliant traders.”

He noted that the Enforcement and Anti-Smuggling Unit had not relented in its effort to combat smuggling and all forms of criminality.

The customs boss stressed that under his supervision, the Customs, being the lead agency at the Ports, had through its enforcement unit coordinated several 100% physical examinations in collaboration with critical stakeholders.

He said that these were to ensure that the command was free of any form of non-compliance in line with the international trade cycle.

Nnadi said that, in the period under review, a total of 57 packets of heroin weighing 56.390kg with a street value of ₦902.24 million were seized.

He added that 3612 packets of Colorado Indica weighing 956.772kg with a street value of ₦4.06 billion were also seized.

“All the seized illicit drugs have been handed over to the relevant sister agencies as directed by the service.

“In the past few months, the command has hosted different sections of the stakeholders’ forum – shipping companies, terminal operators, freight forwarders, security agencies, etc.

Nnadi said that the meetings, physically and virtually, have been on modalities to automate communication channels to minimise revenue loss and boost rules of engagement.

“The Command has not relented on its efforts to ensure that its aim is achieved in its efforts to create a level playing field for importers and stakeholders by decongesting the Ports.

“The Command encouraged stakeholders’ approach for the establishment of new terminals and activities have long commenced at the terminals, respectively,” he said.

The customs boss said that in terms of volume (mT) and value (FOB), export trade recorded exponential growth within the same period under review.

“Comparatively, tonnage of goods exported via TCIP increased from 145,906.33 mT in 2023 to 251,679.89 mT in 2024 and represents an increase of 95.3%.

“Also, there is an over 300% increase in the FOB value of the exports from N80.993 billion to N287.79 billion of Q1 2023 and 2024 respectively.

“Exports from the Command include essentially agricultural and other allied products, namely Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Beans, Cashew Nuts, etc,” Nnadi noted.

He commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, for his management team and continuous efforts towards strengthening the capacity of the service.

He added that the customs comptroller-general had also introduced innovative methods to perform its statutory responsibilities in line with international best practices. 

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Customs: Shuaibu Succeeds Wada at FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna 



Customs: Shuaibu Succeeds Wada at FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna 

In a graceful transition ceremony, Mr Chedi Wada, the Comptroller of the Federal Operations Units (FOU) Zone “B” of the Nigeria Customs Service, has officially handed over to Mr Ahmadu Shuaibu.

The event, held in Kaduna on  Wednesday at the unit’s office, marked a pivotal moment in its history as it embraced a new leadership.

During the handover, Wada commended the giant strides made during his tenure, emphasizing the unit’s strengthened operations and enhanced collaboration with sister agencies.

He lauded the unwavering dedication of the unit’s staffers and expressed gratitude to the media for their objective coverage, saying that it was vital in projecting the unit’s image.

In his response,  Shuaibu acknowledged Wada’s exemplary leadership and pledged to build upon the foundation laid, emphasizing the need for teamwork and a commitment to national security.

He affirmed his belief in the collective progress of Nigeria and vowed to uphold the service’s mandate with diligence.

The ceremony garnered support from various stakeholders, with Mr Sani Killa, Chief of Staff to Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna State praising Wada’s integrity and urging him to continue his impactful work wherever he goes.

The various stakeholders who spoke re-echoed sentiments of appreciation for Wada’s dedication and wished him success in his new national assignment.

The Kaduna Zonal Manager of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bashir Rabe-Mani, urged Wada to sustain his patriotic service and conveyed well-wishes for his new assignment.

He said, ”As the baton passes from one capable leader to another, the FOU Zone “B” stands poised to maintain its unwavering commitment to safeguarding national interests and fostering collaboration for a brighter future.”

Wada has been redeployed to the NCS Headquarters, Abuja, as the Comptroller, Enforcement.

Shuabu, until his redeployment to the FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, was the Comptroller, Ogun Area Command II, Idi-Iroko

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