WISTA is to promote the role of women in the maritime industry’
Few days to the Women International in Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria Investiture, Award and Dance which held penultimate Saturday at the Civic Centre, Lagos, President WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Jean Chiazor Anishere, together with the Vice President, Mrs. Christy Jatto, Secretary, Mrs. Mary Harman and Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Chizorba Ayika, visited Ships & Ports Studio, where they had a chat with Bolaji Akinola on the vision and ideals of the foremost trade association.
What is WISTA Nigeria?
Anishere: WISTA stands for Women International Shipping and Trading Association and Nigeria is the chapter of WISTA. WISTA is an international organization of women in shipping and trade related matters.
Why is it in Nigeria?
Anishere: WISTA has chapters in 28 countries all over the world and Nigeria is one of the countries and Nigeria is one of the countries and a chapter of WISTA International Company Limited. The umbrella body is known as WISTA.
Where is it based and where did it start from?
Anishere: It started from Europe as far back as 1875 and it was established in Nigeria in 1994 as a matter of fact last week Monday we now have WITSTA China. So China has joined this huge family know as WISTA.
Interesting Jatto, WISTA International, WISTA Nigeria. What are the aims and objectives?
Jatto: The aims of WISTA is to promote the role of women in the maritime industry. We also raise funds and set up funds because we have projects which seek to increase the visibility of women in shipping and then to train young women. We have projects in Nigeria like the boat project which is targeted at women in the riverine areas. The project aim is to help in boosting the fishing activities of women in the riverine areas and that is in achieving the Millennium Development Goal 1 that is to reduce extreme poverty and hunger. And the funds are also meant to assist in training female cadets in maritime institutions.
That sounds quite laudable, in your assessment have you been able to gather all the women in shipping in Nigeria together under your umbrella?
Jatto: Yes, to some extent we have because women that cut across the maritime industry. We have ship owners, shipbrokers, freight forwarders, marine engineers, female lawyers, interpreters, female journalists. Since the maritime industry is a multidisciplinary industry, we have women that cut across all those fields.
How would assess your impact on Nigerian women in shipping. Have you made of difference in the lives of these women?
Jatto: Oh! definitely because we are more and more women are joining us as members. Our membership is swelling by the day and with our programmes, we have lecture series, workshops, seminars and more and more women are joining us.
Anishere as the new President of WISTA, I have heard this phrase new frontier. What is this new frontier?
Anishere :The new frontier is what we’ve been able to achieve in less than two months that we were sworn in to the glory of God. We thought that we needed to make WISTA Nigeria where a Nigerian look. Before we were sworn in as executive members of WISTA Nigeria, we’ve only have WISTA Nigeria based in Lagos what we called WISTA Lagos, it appeared. But now we have WISTA Nigeria in Abuja, Aba, Port Harcourt, Warri and Uyo. So we have been able to spread WISTA Nigeria within the six geopolitical zones of great country and we feel that now WISTA Nigeria is wearing a Federal look. It’s gone to new frontiers. So we have more members and its actually wearing a Federal look and we are very happy about that. And when we talk about WISTA Nigeria Abuja chapter, its takes care of the northern part, the WISTA Nigeria Uyo takes care of the South east part, Cross Rivers State inclusive and WISTA Nigeria Lagos chapter will take care of Ogun and Oyo states. WISTA Port Harcourt and Warri chapters would take care of the Niger Delta South South zone.
What legacy would want to leave behind by the time you are done with your tenure?
Anishere: We have an uptill task. Our aim is to ensure that WISTA Nigeria host the world. And we have WISTA Ghana that was inaugurated by us just about a year or two ago. We introduced WISTA to Ghana. We have WISTA Egypt and so we have that inclination that if WISTA Ghana should bid to host the world, they just might succeed because of the security issues. They have a safer environment then we do here and we can’t let that happen because we have been with WISTA International as far back as 1994. We need to work hard and we intend to host the world and with God on our side, we will host the world.
Let me ask you Herman. Where do I go to if I want to make enquiries about WISTA or her membership?
Herman: It is easy, just walk to number 4 park lane that’s Shippers Council Plaza 2nd floor. Our website is www.wista.net. We have Anita our administrative secretary on hand.
Who can be a member of WISTA Nigeria?
Herman: Anybody that is the shipping related industry or international trading because WISTA is Women International in Shipping and Trading Association. So if you fall into either of these groups or working in any of these establishments, you are welcome to join WISTA as look as you are women.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.