The Female Seafarer’s Association of Nigeria (FESAN) has revealed that over 80 of their members are currently jobless. The group further said that the state of joblessness is telling on some of the seafarers who are gradually becoming frustrated with the pattern of shipping in Nigeria.
Speaking exclusively with the Nigerian Tribune as part of the group’s celebration of the IMO International Day for Women in Maritime, FESAN President/Coordinator, Mrs. Koni Duniya explained that she no longer encourages young girls to aspire to become seafarers due to the paucity of jobs available to them.
According to Mrs. Duniya, “Giving the global average, Nigeria has not fared better when we look at female participation in seafaring. We are still within the global average of below two percent. This is not an encouraging number for us at FESAN.
“It’s not that Nigeria does not have enough female seafarers. It’s just that the numbers of those employed is not encouraging. To me, what’s the moral justification of bringing in more women into seafaring when we have over 80 female seafarers unemployed?
“The unemployment issue is the problem we are currently facing in Nigeria. We have enough female seafarers, but most of them are jobless. So, if many female seafarers are thriving and are gainfully employed, the profession will become attractive to young female students who aspire to work on ships.
“That’s why as President of FESAN, I don’t encourage young girls to come and join seafaring.”
On the breakdown of female seafarers unemployed, the FESAN President explained that, ‘As at today, we have about 30 female seafarers with Certificate of Competency (CoC), but are unemployed. For the ones looking for sea-time, we have over 50 female seafarers in this category. So, in total, we have about 80 female seafarers doing nothing. It Is not encouraging for me as FESAN President. If we have such numbers not employed, what’s the moral justification to encourage other young girls to come into seafaring?
“Sea time has remained an issue and employment for female seafarers has also remained an issue.”