Less than 25 per cent of the workers of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) are female, according to statistics exclusively obtained by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
The data revealed that, out of a total of 4,057 employees of the Authority as at end of 2011, only 987 are female.
This represents 24.33 per cent of the workforce, while the male employees constitute 75.67 per cent or 3,070.
NPA has not embarked on any major recruitment exercise since the port reform of 2006 which led to a substantial reduction of its workforce from 12,000 to about 4,000.
The statistics also revealed that, out of a staff strength of 6,913 in 2006, the female component was 1,150 or 22.4 per cent; 1,122 or 22.59 per cent out of a total staff strength of 4,967 in 2007; and 1,010 or 23.47 per cent out of 4,303 workers in 2008.
Female workers in 2009 were 1,020, representing 24.10 per cent of the total staff strength of 4,233, while the 2010 figure was 998 female employees or 24.01 per cent of the workforce of 4,157.
Speaking in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, penultimate week at the Centenary Celebration of the Rivers Port Complex, the only female Executive Director so far produced in the almost 60 years history of the NPA, Ms. Aina Egharevba, decried the poor representation of women in the organisation especially in senior and executive management positions.
“We can see that the male/female officer/staff ratio tends towards the male, especially in the mid to higher cadres. In the 100 years of existence of Rivers Port, it was only this year 2013 that a female was appointed as a Port Manager,” Egharevba, who is a former Executive Director Marine and Operations, NPA, stated.
She said that out of six Port Managers under the NPA, only one is a female, while “in almost 60 years of existence of NPA, only one female has been appointed as Executive Director.”
She said: “Unfortunately as I speak, there is no female Executive Director.”
The male/female employee ratio at the NPA, according to Egharevba, is far below the 35 per cent women participation in government being clamoured for by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
While calling for equal opportunities for both male and female officers and staff of the organisation, she said that the 35 per cent ratio of women participation in government should be adhered to “at the point of recruitment.”
Egharevba added: “I hereby appeal that at least one female Executive Director and two female Port Managers should be appointed in NPA. This should also cascade down to the cadres to ensure that 35 per cent of staff and officers are female.”