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Higher Visibility: Maritime Women Groups Partner; WISTA, WIMOWCA, WIMA, Lady Seafarers fuse aspirations 



AfCFTA: Nigerian Women must be repositioned- WISTA President

 Four women maritime associations have partnered to form the Women in Maritime Network to deepen involvement and make more impacts in the industry.

The women’s associations are the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), African Women in Maritime (WIMA), and lady seafarers.

Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, Nigeria President, WISTA confirmed this in Lagos on Thursday, while speaking in commemoration of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) International Day for women in maritime, celebrated every May 18.

Ezeoke added that the merger would create an umbrella body that would boost a partnership for higher gender equality in the maritime sector, and ensure that maritime women operate on the same level as their counterparts in other African countries. 

This year’s IMO International Day for women in maritime is the second in Nigeria. Its focus is to promotes the recruitments, retention and sustained employment of women in the sector.

The theme for this year’s celebration is; “The Importance of Collaboration and Networking in Achieving Gender Equality in the Maritime Sector”.

“Today is International Day for Women in Maritime which started last year by the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr Kitack Lim.

“The collaboration, mobilising network for gender equality is highlighted this year, Nigerian women in the maritime industry already started this networking and collaboration last year.

“We in WISTA Nigeria galvanised and synergised with other women’s associations in the industry and we held a seminar last year to mark that day. We collaborated with WIMA Nigeria, WIMOWCA and lady seafarers.

“Then this year, we went further and decided to come under one umbrella, Women in Maritime Network. The purpose of this collaboration and coming under one umbrella is to have a stronger voice in advocacy matters concerning the growth of women in the industry,” she said.

Ezeoke said the partnership was also to address the challenges of maritime agencies and the lack of audience from corporate bodies because of having fragmented associations in the industry.

She noted that when women’s maritime associations seek support and sponsorship as individual groups, they were often advised to come as one body.

“The associations that agreed to come under one umbrella were WISTA, the oldest maritime women professional association in Nigeria which is almost thirty years,  WIMA that is nine years, WIMOCA that is about two, three years and Lady Seafarers of Nigeria.

“ We had already informed the Ministry of Transportation. What we are waiting for is to start seeing the fruits of this coming together,” she said.

She said that the benefits of the partnership would include support from corporate organisations, shipping companies, ministries, and, agencies such Nigerian Ports Authority and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Treasurer, Womens International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTER) Nigeria, Dr Odunayo Ani, President, Mrs Eunice Ezeoke and Secretary, Chizoba Anyika during a news conference on the forthcoming business luncheon of the association, in Lagos.

Other agencies she listed include National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, major shipping companies, banks, and insurance companies.

“We are suffering in Nigeria as a professional women association.

“When we manage to travel out, to start with, nobody sponsors you, none from the government, it is self-effort.

“Then, when you are sponsored and you get there, you see other African countries and we don’t have the capacity to compete favourably.

“We discover that there are a lot of conferences and training that we are supposed to benefit from so that we compete under a level playing ground with other African countries, not even talking about Europe and others.

“We discover that Ghana, Cameroon, and Togo are moving ahead and they are very small countries. Nigeria is huge and so is its capacity, but we are having challenges,” she said.

She said that many maritime women could not attend the international conferences in 2022 and this year as well as the IMO, while about four people were sponsored by Ghana WISTA.

She noted that when they requested support from the Ministry of Transportation, they were informed that sponsorship for women’s associations had been canceled by the federal government since 2019.

“So, how do we grow, pursue and execute our project because we have our Corporate Social Responsibility projects?

“We sensitise the girl-child about opportunities that are available in the maritime industry. How do we grow the industry for the gender, and pursue advocacy for some cultural, and social practices that inhibit the girl-child from pursuing career opportunities in the maritime industry?

“These are the challenges we are having and they are part of some we expect the government to address and help us, especially the government bodies under the Ministry of Transportation for the women association to grow,” she said.

Ezeoke noted that networking was important not just for women but for agencies, corporate bodies, and organisations, to help the women’s associations to grow and impact as expected.


Children’s Day: London Academy Business School Celebrates Nigerian Children



...Reiterates commitment to provide high-quality education to Nigerian Child***
Dr. Larry, the Director of London Academy Business School (LABS), joined other Nigerian leaders from other industries to celebrate children on children's Day. In his words, Dr. Larry stated that children remind us of the future.
While speaking to reporters, he emphasized the aura of love that children create in the homes and throughout society, Also that "the joy and happiness from children are amazing, sufficient enough to drive energy for nation building."

Dr. Larry also advocated for effective child protection policies and implementation, urging all critical stakeholders, including parents, teachers, and the government, to protect and celebrate children.
  To ensure that high-quality education is available to children in Nigeria, London Academy Business School has established a Lagos Study Centre with state of the art facility and modern technology with plans to expand across all cities in Nigeria.

Dr. Jones-Esan, who has big plans to change the face of education in Nigeria, has also urged the government and private stakeholders to work with him and his team of professionals to change the face of education in Nigeria. He claims that many children have big potentials but can't realise them because they're not in school.
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Tinubu To Adopt Price Control Mechanism For Agro Products



… Vows to Defend Nigeria From Terror, Criminality – Tinubu***

President Bola Tinubu says he will take steps to ensure price control for agricultural products.

Tinubu said this in his inaugural address on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, rural income shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products.

He said that agricultural hubs would be created throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processes.

“The livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimise the perennial conflict over land and water resources in the sector.

“Through these actions, food shall be made more abundant yet less costly. Farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less,” he said.

On foreign policy, Tinubu said that the crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in “our immediate neighbourhood were of pressing concern”.

He said that his primary foreign policy objective would be the peace and stability of the West African continent.

“We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU, and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones.

“As we contain threats to peace, we shall also retool our foreign policy to more actively lead the regional and continental quest for collective prosperity, ” he said.

The President called on all Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliations, to support his government in his bid to take Nigeria to greater heights.

“Our administration will govern on your behalf but never rule over you.

“We shall consult and dialogue with, but never dictate. We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.

“We are here to further mend and heal this nation not tear and injure it,” he said.

In the meantime, President, Bola Tinubu, has promised to defend Nigeria from terror and all forms of criminality threatening the peace and stability of the country and the sub-region.

Tinubu said this in his inaugural address after he was sworn in as the 16th democratically elected president of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.

He said that security shall be the top priority of his administration, saying that neither prosperity nor justice could prevail amidst insecurity and violence.

“To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security Doctrine and its Architecture.

“We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number.

“We shall provide, better training, equipment, pay and firepower,” he said.

Tinubu said his mission was to improve the lives of Nigerians in a manner that nurtured humanity, encourage compassion toward one another, and duly rewards collective effort to resolve the social ills that sought to divide the nation.

“Our constitution and laws give us a nation on paper, saying we must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding,” he said.

He called for the development of a shared sense of fairness and equity, adding that the South must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests were served when good come to the North.

“The North must see the South likewise.

“Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people.

“As your president, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all.

“In the coming days and weeks, my team will publicly detail key aspects of our programme,” he said.

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Fuel Subsidy Removal: Don Predicts Reduction In Fuel Price



Prof. AbdulGafar Ijaiya of the Department of Economics, University of Ilorin, has expressed optimism at President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural remarks on the removal of fuel subsidies, saying this may reduce prices at the long run.

Ijaiya, who spoke on Monday in Ilorin, observed that with commitment from the Federal Government in revamping existing refineries alongside Dangote refineries, will increase the availability of petroleum products.

The expert who however explained that though such effect may not be felt immediately, noted that the present pump price is about N200, depending on filling stations across the country.

He questioned if the present fuel price at about N200 was as a result of the subsidy removal, adding that if it is not, then fuel may likely increase with about 50 per cent rate after the removal.

“But the thing is that very soon, what has gone wrong with the refineries will be corrected and Dangote refineries will commence by July/August,” he said.

Ijaiya, who teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, pointed out that in the beginning there might be an increase in the prices of foods and services.

He however asserted that in a society like Nigeria where people are used to hike in prices, it would not mean much to the citizens.

“By Economics principle, we have adjusted our expenditure profile consumption to particular items. We have moved from consuming luxury and unnecessary items to necessary items.

“This means people go for what is necessary and do away with those that are not,” he said.

Ijaiya affirmed that in the long run, the fuel pump price will adjust downward and there would be more supply of the products.

He further added that when there are more supply of a particular product in the market, it will automatically reduce the price.

“If we have enough supply, with time and there are no other man-made distortion that has to do with our behaviour, I see us buying it between N80 and N100 per litre,” he predicted.

The economist also foresee filling station advertising and competing for sales, saying it will be good for the nation.

He, however, cautioned that “we are in an uncertain world”, but maintained that fuel subsidy removal would be good for the country eventually as only a minority are benefiting from it.

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