In what would be remembered as bedrock of the advancement of women in the Nigeria’s political and managerial space, the 2017 edition of MMS Plus Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame (WoFHoF) provided an ambiance for bonding among several leading women in various crucial sectors of the nation’s economy to enhance the contributions of women in leadership via mentoring.

At the grand event which was graced by notable women in maritime, mining, admiralty law, finance, amongst others, the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, highlighted the need to cultivate a crop of young women to replace the ones going away to ensure that there is always sufficient human capacity in every sector.

The minister who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello said, “The Ministry of Transportation will surely support such very important issue as mentorship and leadership. The minister is aware of the importance of this programme and its relevant theme but it is unfortunate that he couldn’t make it because of his tight schedule.

“The theme of this programme; ‘National Intergration: Women’s Role in Leadership and Mentoring’ is apt and we are pleased with MMS Plus for marrying the practice of journalism with the practice in maritime and other industries. There is always the need to come together to evaluate things and to see how people should be mentored into this profession especially when there are some amazons fading away and aging rapidly. We already have women who have risen to the pinnacle in shipping, maritime or admiralty law. It is important that most of these women are here because they are the captains of several industries. We have them in terminal operations, maritime lawyers, organisational heads of several government agencies and parastatals,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of Nigeria’s leading women’s rights activist and President of Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Odumakin preached unity among women, noting that it was the major element that would take women to the next phase of relevance in governance in the country.

According to the dogged activist, women ought not to see themselves as enemies but lend their actions positively to inspire and affect others starting from their home fronts equipping their children with solid moral standards, in the workplace and wherever they may find themselves.
Odumakin also admonished the women not to forget the ladder that brought them up even as she tasked them to serve as ladders through which other younger women climb to the find the path to the pinnacle of their various careers.

“We want our career women to know that people look at them consciously and unconsciously because through their acts, they came become good mentors.,” she noted.
She equally proposed effective and efficient leadership as a solution to curb the myriad of corrupt practices that have crippled various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Odumakin, stated that those in leadership positions should be passionate and eschew any form of corruption that would encourage the younger mentees to believe it is right to engage in such unwholesome practices.
However, the Chairperson, Board of Trustees of the MMS WoFHoF and Chairperson of the occasion, Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi said, “We are here today to celebrate excellence, distinction and to celebrate being a woman. We are not fighting to take over from the men; all we are saying is that we should look for quality. We should also give adequate representation to our women.”

Speaking further on mentorship, she said “we should always remember that because we all come from different backgrounds, one thing unites us, we all have villages where we come from, our mothers in the villages, even up to date mentor the young ones in the act of cooking, act of keeping home, act of really being a proper Nigerian woman. What they don’t have, we have! And that is the profession we hold in law, medicine, etc. We need to fill that gap; we need to use these areas of distinctions to mentor the young ones because they don’t teach them the practical in the universities. So, be generous with your time, be generous with your office and let’s groom the young ones,” she admonished.

Meanwhile, one of the inductees at the ceremony, Mrs. Janet Adeyemi said, “It is good news that women of this generation, championed by MMS Plus, are beginning to understand the essence of networking and working together. Irrespective of where we (women) are; we must realise that there is a need for us to come together. We equally want to thank all the men who are here and all those who continue to show support to women.” Janet, who is also the President of Women in Mining in Nigeria, seized the opportunity to recall her mentor even as she stressed that every woman should look towards leaving a legacy behind for the next generation rather than become obsessed with material possessions.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Convenor of the MMS WoFHoF, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke had posited that the event was a bold statement that the solution to the myriad of challenges the nation is facing with regards to leadership could be solved via exemplary leadership and mentorship.
Anaroke, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Kings Communications Limited, publishers of MMS Plus newspaper; said, “Over the years we have found partners and supporters in this course of adding value to life, womanhood and the society at large. And collectively, we have become a voice for women and gender equitability. Against this background, it is imperative that the gradual drift of the nation towards disintegration needs the intervention of mothers who are usually victims and casualties of every war situation. Today, a statement is about to be made that the solution lies on leadership and mentorship which is empowerment with bonding.”

He observed that in the last five years the event had grown to become a non-profit organisation with the preoccupation of seeking means to impact the younger generation of women through mentorship, career enhancement and celebration of women of substance.