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More Women May Take up Career in Shipping

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  • More Women May Take up Career in Shipping

More women may be attracted to various sections of the maritime industry, including seafaring, going by promises made by leaders of government agencies and professional groups at the 2019 edition of the International Maritime Organisation’s annual Day of the Seafarer held recently in Lagos.

Mrs Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, led the campaign for more women participation in seafaring and other maritime professions as she urged relevant agencies to review their policies accordingly.

She stressed that their active participation would speed up the development of the sector and the nation’s economy.

Also, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, highlighted a number steps the agency was taking to make women active players in the industry.

In the same vein, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, advised women to take up career in shipping and allied professions.

The President’s wife, represented at the event by the wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo, described women as great managers of ideas, human and material resources.

She said, “Mr President is desirous of seeing more women in the industry and this year’s celebration, focusing on women seafarers is therefore apt. It will be on the development on a wider range seeing agencies play pivotal role in leading the pack in the new direction of gender equality in maritime career of the girl child.

“Let me stress that it is important to educate the girl child on opportunities in taking up career in the sector and the derivable benefits there, while dissuading them from the notion that it is men’s job.”

In his address at the event, Peterside said NIMASA had been gender sensitive, explaining that more Nigerian girls had benefited from its cadet training.

He said, “The agency will continue to pursue policies that will accelerate gender equality and empowerment of women in the maritime sector. In addition to the 304 female cadets we have trained since the inception of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme, special attention will now be given to the training of female seafarers in specialised courses to enable them to take up professional responsibilities.”

On the theme ‘On board with gender equality’, Peterside stated that the international shipping community recognised that women, if encouraged, could positively alter the equilibrium of macro economy.

The President, World Maritime University, Malmo, Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, said women participation in shipping and maritime industry remained critical, lamenting that efforts to actualise this had been abysmally low.

Bala-Usman noted that more women in shipping would boost productivity, by not only empowering them but also encouraging the men to work harder.

The NPA MD quoted a report of the International Maritime Organisation that highlighted that despite education, enhanced technology and enlightenment, women participation in the shipping sector was still abysmally low.

“The International Maritime Organisation encourages it; Nigerian government encourages it; the ports authority encourages it; the LTT/HPI encourages it; and even men have seen that if they have women amongst them, they can work harder because they also feel more relaxed,” she added.

The General Manager, LTT Coastal & Marine Services, Kalusky Hilik, who dismissed the notion by some women that the shipping industry was a no-go area for females, stressed that the women folk had a major role to play in the development of sector.

June 25 is annually celebrated worldwide as the International Day of the Seafarer.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Dangote Cement Refutes Claim it Sells Cement High in Nigeria

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Dangote Cement Plc has refuted the widely propagated story that the company sells cement at a significantly higher price in Nigeria compared to other African nations like Zambia and Ghana.

The management of the leading manufacturing company said it sells a bag at N2,450 in Obajana and Gboko, and N2,510 in Ibese, the amounts stated include VAT.

Devakumar Edwin, Dangote’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, said the company sells for an equivalent of $5.1, including VAT in Nigeria, it sells for $7.2 in Ghana and $5.95 in Zambia ex-factory, inclusive of all taxes.

Devakumar, therefore, described the allegation as false, misleading, and unfounded, and challenged the media to conduct independent investigation into the price of cement in some other African countries, including Cameroun, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia.

To ensure that we meet local demand, we had to suspend exports from our recently commissioned export terminals, thereby foregoing dollar earnings.

“We also had to reactivate our 4.5m ton capacity Gboko Plant which was closed 4 years ago and run it at a higher cost all in a bid to guarantee that we meet demand and keep the price of Cement within control in the country.”

“Over the past 15 months, our production costs have gone up significantly. About 50% of our costs are linked to USD so the cost of critical components like: gas, gypsum, bags, and spare parts; has increased significantly due to devaluation of the Naira and VAT increase.

“Despite this, DCP has not increased ex-factory prices since December 2019 till date while prices of most other building materials have gone up significantly.

“We have only adjusted our transport rates to account for higher costs of diesel, spare parts, tyres, and truck replacement. Still, we charge our customers only N300 – 350 per bag for deliveries within a 1,200km radius.

“We have been responsible enough not to even attempt to cash in on the recent rise in demand to increase prices so far,” Devakumar said.

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Samsung, Vision Care Begin Fresh CSR Activities, Earmark 12,000 Masks for Nigeria

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Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) and Vision Care, an international relief organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness, have launched fresh Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to help Nigeria mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Vision Care is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and participant of ‘VISION 2020’, a global initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Vision Care has since conducted more than 25 Vision Eye Camps yearly and has grown into an international non-profit organisation serving 38 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central-South America.

Since 2015, SHIN has worked with Vision Care in the yearly Eye Camp as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide free cataract surgeries to Nigerians who cannot afford the payment. SHIN has been sponsoring the eye surgeries of Nigerians on a yearly basis.

In 2019, SHIN sponsored the eye surgeries of at least 115 Nigerian patients and 224 outward patients as part of its CSR in Nigeria.

Since it started the programme, SHIN has sponsored the eye surgeries of 572 Nigerian patients, 1,593 outward patients and has also donated glasses to 99 patients.

Due to outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the yearly Eye Camp for 2021 had been called off to adhere to Federal Government’s measures in response to the virus.

Consequently, SHIN and Vision Care came up with a fresh CSR initiative this year to donate 496 bags of rice (25kg) and 12,000 reusable face masks to three states in the country to fulfill their commitment of contributing to the society.

The items will be delivered later this month.

The three states that will benefit from the donation are Lagos, Kano and Bayelsa states.

Out of the 496 bags of rice, and 12,000 facemasks, Lagos will receive 96 bags of rice and 200 masks.

SHIN also stated that Kano State will receive 200 bags of rice and 5,000 masks, while Bayelsa State will get 200 bags and 5,000 masks.

“This is an additional CSR activity from SHI in addition to SHIN’s donation of 5,000 COVID-19 test kits from Korea. The washable masks that the head office has purchased from Korea are certified to retain its effectiveness against COVID-19 transmission for up to 50 washes,” SHIN said in a statement.

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Senate Summons NICON, AIICO, Others Over N17.4bn Pension Remittances

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The Senate Public Accounts Committee has summoned the management of the NICON Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance and other insurance companies over their alleged failure to remit N17.4bn pension fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.

The Senate hinged the summon on the 2016 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation which unraveled the alleged non-remittance of N17.4bn pension fund to PTAD.

Appearing before the panel on Monday, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, informed the lawmakers that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of the defunct pension offices without a formal handing over.

She said, “On taking over, the directorate wrote all underwriters to make returns and remit whatever amount that was in their custody into a CBN dedicated account.

“Some of the underwriters responded to the request while some did not.

“The bank certificate of balances, accounting statements, three years financial statements and policy files requested by the federal auditor were not handed over to PTAD at the time of consolidation.

“It is worthy to note that we discovered that N17.4bn which comprised of cash, securities and properties from the nine insurance underwriters was unremitted as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them.

“These figures represent the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.

“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in custody of underwriters, the directorate appointed a consultant in 2018 who carried out forensic audit of nine out the 12 insurance underwriters and produced a final report on the recovery of the legacy funds and assets for PTAD.”

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