By Eromosele Abiodun
Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) has donated a speedboat and some fishing accessories to the women of Omabala Na Esu Fishers Association of Aguleri, in Anambra State. President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Mary Madu Hamman, said the donations were part of the organisation’s drive to inspire more women participation in the maritime industry.
Hamman said she was in Aguleri with her team of WISTA officials to lend a hand in growing the trade of the fisher folks and encourage them to tap into the vast opportunities in the maritime industry.
According to her, “Nigeria is concerned about the women in Aguleri community who are known for fishing and marketing. WISTA is proud to associate with them and also help them grow their business activities. The maritime sector has a lot of opportunities yet to be tapped into by women.”
She stressed the need for women in Aguleri community to send their daughters to school and also encouraged them to study courses relevant to the maritime industry so that they could tap into the resources in the maritime industry.
The WISTA Nigeria president, who is also Assistant Director, Shipping Promotion, at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), commended the Agency’s efforts, under the Dr. Dakuku Peterside-led management, to support women in the maritime industry.
“NIMASA has been a huge support and dependable ally for WISTA and women in the maritime industry generally,” he said.
Hamman stated further, “This is not the first time that WISTA Nigeria is empowering women. Similar gestures have been carried out in Epe, Lagos State, and in Oron, Akwa Ibom State. These are all geared towards ensuring that the lives of women are touched. We also aim to enlighten them on the golden opportunities yet to be tapped in the maritime industry.”
She announced that WISTA Nigeria would soon be in Enugu State for a similar exercise.
The First Lady of Anambra State, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, who received the items on behalf of the women, expressed gratitude to WISTA for the philanthropic gesture.
Obiano said: “I want to show my sincere appreciation to WISTA Nigeria for taking out time to impact on the lives of the women in Aguleri and also thank them for encouraging and enlightening the women in Aguleri to tap into the opportunities in the maritime industry. Today is a day that history and the women of Aguleri will not forget so easily because, as you can see, today is a new dawn for women in Aguleri.”