By Godwin Oritse
FOLLOWING the emergence of the first female Tug Boat Captain, Canus Ebinipre Robinson, Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, has restated that the agency will continue to empower and provide opportunities for women in the maritime industry, while taking deliberate steps to nurture young women maritime professionals.
Bello-Koko gave this assurance last week in Lagos at a reception in honour of the country’s first female Azuimuth Stern Drive (ASD) Tugboat Captain Robinson, organized by LTT Coastal and Marine Services, the company managing the Authority’s marine crafts.
He said the Nigerian Ports Authority as an equal opportunity organization is always delighted to be associated with exceptional feats especially when accomplished by our female professionals.
He stated: “In our relentless drive to improve operational efficiency we recently invested heavily on the acquisition of world class tugs to boost towage and mooring operations at the Port, so the news of increasing availability of local talent and expertise to seamlessly maneuver sophisticated high performance vessels such as the ASD is heart gladdening for us”. He commended the Management of LTT Coastal & Marine Services Limited for the foresight that birthed such achievement.
“This feat is more heartwarming for us at the NPA because it shows that stakeholders are keying into our efforts at promoting the participation of women in the maritime ecosystem. If we must optimize the ever growing potentials and dynamism of the global Port system, we must create an atmosphere conducive for increased participation of women in port operations”, he remarked.
He described the emergence of the first female Tug boat Captain in West Africa from Nigeria as an uncommon feat that should challenge our young ladies to aspire to achieve greater heights, not because of their gender but because of their capacity.
The Authority according to the NPA Boss places high premium on gender, in her overall talent development agenda.
Capt. Ebinipre Canus Robinson, West Africa’s first female ASD Tug Boat Captain is from Bayelsa State in Nigeria. She is a product of the National Seafarers Development Programme, promoted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).