Idris Umar, Transpaort Minister
The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has called for support and cooperation of stakeholders to ensure that women take their rightful place in the scheme of things in the maritime sector of the economy and other spheres of human endeavour.
He also expressed the willingness of the Federal Government and his ministry to support the cause of women folk in their diverse fields of endeavours to ensure that their contribution to nation building is achieved.
Umar stated this at the MMS Plus’ Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame. The event staged to mark the second anniversary of MMS Plus’ Weekly Newspaper was organised by Kings Communications Limited in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
The Minister, who was the special guest of honour at the occasion, was represented by the Deputy Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transport, Mrs. Mary Akpan, urged the inductees whom he said have excelled in the maritime, finance, oil and gas industries to be steadfast in their chosen career.
He enjoined corporate bodies, government and other stakeholders to join hands to support the women folk, saying that he was honoured to be part of the historic event.
Umar noted that the Federal Government is already supporting the women folk by “placing more emphasis on women entrepreneurship under the Federal Government job creation scheme”.
He stressed that the role of women in leadership contributed to the allocation of more seats to women in President Jonathan’s cabinet than any other in the history of Nigeria.
“Though the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is fully behind this laudable project, I commend the publisher of the tabloid, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke and the staff of Kings Communications Limited for their dedication in making sure that the newspaper is published and circulated free of charge,” he added.
However, the minister advised the inductees to allow the success they have achieved in their fields to impact positively in their homes, because happy family makes happy society, which will in turn make happy nation.
Wife of the Cross River State Governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel-Imoke, in her speech as the guest speaker with the topic: ‘Galvanising and Positioning Women for Leadership in the Society: A Perspective of a First Lady’, advocated for the independence of the female folk for them to achieve fulfilment and self-reliance so as to fast track national development. She maintained that one educated woman is more than 70 men.
According to the Cross River first lady, who admitted that most of her successes are the brain-chide of her husband’s leadership ability, stated that her non-governmental organisation (NGO), Partnership Opportunities for Women Empowerment Realisation (POWER), is to provide leadership towards harnessing the strength and potentials of women.
Imoke argued that she is not a woman in leadership but a woman that is able to encourage things through what she does. She stated that since its inception, POWER has affected scores of lives positively in her state even as she advocated that women should work in partnership to help one another tackle the problems that darken their lives: poverty, neglect, domestic violence, illiteracy and discrimination. Others are inequality, malnutrition, disease, among others.
She explained that as one of the inductees of the Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame, she was highly honoured and thanked the leaders and stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy for the honour.
In his remark, the chairman of the occasion, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Captain Adamu Biu, who was represented by Director, Inland Services, Mr. Raheem Sanusi, extolled the virtues of women in their different careers where they have made significant breakthroughs and contributions.
Biu said that it is the contributions of these ladies who have attained enviable heights in their various careers that NSC want to identify with the idea of Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame.
“We at the Nigerian Shippers’ Council believe that the recognition of these ladies may serve as a model to others to copy and for them to achieve more, they have to bring up those coming behind them,” he advised.
Those inducted into the MMS plus’ Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame are the former Transport as well as Aviation Minister and the National Women Leader of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Ambassador Mrs. Kema Chikwe; Mrs. Imoke; Secretary General, Abuja MOU, Mrs. Mfon Ekong Usoro; former Acting Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mrs. Chinwa F.O. Ezenwa; Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa; President, Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA-Nigeria), Mrs. Jean Chiazor-Anishere and the Managing Director, Amyn Investment Limited, Ms Hauwa Audu.
Others are the Director of Human Resources and Medical, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ihuoma Onyearugha; Managing Partner and chief executive officer, Onyema and Company, Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi; National President, Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA), Hajiya Sa’adiya Dikko Abdullahi; Deputy Managing Director, Aulic Nigeria Limited, Dr. (Mrs.) Chika Ezeh; Chairperson, Women In Logistics and Transport (WILAT), Mrs. Aisha Ali-Ibrahim; and the chief executive officer, Bomarah Investment Nigeria Limited, Hajia Bola Muse.
Also inducted are the retired Assistant General Manager (AGM) Corporate and Strategic Planning of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mrs. Ann Ukpong; Deputy Director, Public Relations Department of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Hajia Lami Tumaka; Managing Director/CEO of AZSA Micro Finance Bank Limited, Dr. Lizzy Okereke; and the Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Ify Anazonwu-Akerele.
While receiving her award, Ambassador Chikwe praised the organisers of the event, even as she pointed out that the award was significant to nation building.
She therefore appealed for support to the organisers as it has set a milestone in the nation’s history of women by acknowledging them as movers of the economy in their own way. “It is obvious that we have a group of young people putting this programme together to project the Nigerian womanhood in their own way”, she added.
Anaroke had earlier in his welcome address said the idea of organising MMS Plus’ Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame “as an initiative meant to x-ray and celebrate the sterling qualities and contributions of a chosen few women in their respective areas of endeavours to nation building.
“The objective is to assemble and to continue to identify role models for younger generations to emulate their virtues of hard work, creativity, mentorship, professionalism, perseverance and defined career path for greatness,” he added.
The public relations icon, whose experience in journalism has spans of years in several prints and electronic media organisations, said that the concept of recognising these ladies of uncommon qualities in different sectors did not start today and that is why since 2010, MMS plus’ weekly newspaper posts the Woman of Fortune on a dedicated column in its front page.
Anaroke reiterated the endorsement of the MMS plus’ Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame by some women professional groups in the country, which include WILAT, COWA and WISTA-Nigeria.
According to him, the waves of MMS Plus’ Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame be heard outside the shores of Nigeria. He also promised to make it an annual event. Highlight of the occasion was the unveiling of the MMS Plus’ Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame by Mrs. Imoke who was joined by other dignitaries.