By Godwin Oritse
FOLLOWING claims by the Master Mariners Association of Nigeria, MMAN, that the recruitment policy of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company, NLNG, is skewed against female sailors, the company has denied the allegation saying that it has the most gender-friendly recruitment policy.
Recall that during the World Seafarers’ Day celebration in Lagos last month, the leadership of the group had said that one of the best graduating female cadets from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, was denied employment at the company because of its recruitment policy.
In a sharp reaction, Andy Odeh, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, NLNG, said that the company’s employment policies were not gendered insensitive adding that there was no discrimination in the recruitment of its personnel.
Odeh disclosed that there were 13 females currently in the employment of the shipping arm of NLNG building careers at various levels.
He stated: “That allegation that NSML’s employment policies are non-inclusive and gender insensitive is not true. NSML is an equal opportunities company. There is no discrimination in the resourcing of personnel both at sea and ashore.
“Several female seafarers have excelled in their profession and grown through the ranks at sea. Some of these are currently being broadened inshore roles. In the last 18 months, NSML has also recruited a number of female personnel to shore positions.
“There are currently 13 female members in the employ of NSML. Over the years, many more have built careers with NSML and have moved on to other activities. NSML continues to support the development of the maritime profession in Nigeria and drives an inclusive workforce, irrespective of race, gender or physical ability.”
Recall that in response to growing concerns about the global gender imbalance in the maritime industry, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, recently moved to redress the situation through deliberate steps designed to accommodate women.
The International Maritime Organisation, IMO, made gender equality the focus of this year’s Day of the Seafarer, marked last month with the campaign theme, “Onboard with gender equality,” echoing the 2019 World Maritime Day theme, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.”
IMO said the emphasis on women empowerment this year was meant to draw international attention to an awful inequality in the maritime sector, where women constitute only two per cent of the total seafaring population.