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NPA’s joint venture produces first female ASD Tugboat captain in West Africa

Chidi Ogbuokiri

The Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-koko has restated that the Authority 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 reassured the industry at a reception in honour of the country’s first female Azuimuth Stern Drive (ASD) Tugboat Captain, Canus Ebinipre Robinson, organised by LTT Coastal and Marine Services, the company managing the Authority’s marine crafts.

The Nigerian Ports Authority as an equal opportunity organisation is always delighted to be associated with exceptional feats especially when accomplished by our female professionals, “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 said.

The Acting MD commended the LTT Coastal & Marine Services Limited for the foresight that birthed such an unprecedented 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 said.

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. In his words: “for instance, of the 23 General Managers at the NPA, six are women. The female General Managers are in charge of Divisions like Medical, Human Resources, ICT, Monitoring & Regulatory Services, Public Private Partnership and SERVICOM. There are also six Port Managers in charge of Port locations across the country and two of them are women. A number of our strategic departments such as Legal, Training, Superannuation, Administration and Environment amongst others, are led by women.

All these actions are very much in sync with the Federal Governments’ resolve to encourage women’s participation in all spheres of the economy and the Authority’s willingness to lead  by example in mobilizing all stakeholders to deepen the participation and promote women excellence across the entire maritime value chain”, Bello-Koko said.

LTT Coastal & Marine Services is a fleet management company contracted to manage vessels owned by the Nigerian Ports Authority such as tugs, pilot cutters, mooring launches and speed boats, among others. 

Capt. Ebinipre Canus Robinson, West Africa’s first female ASD Tug Boat Captain is from Bayelsa State. She is a product of the National Seafarers Development Programme, promoted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

She joined LTT as a Deck Cadet for her seamanship practical training/experience from August 8, 2017 to December 27, 2019. In 2020, she went to the Philippines for her Certificate of Competency Examination – March 2, 2020 and returned to the country after successfully passing her COC examination –December 27, 2020.

LTT absorbed her to undergo sea practical training as an officer after obtaining Officer-in-charge-of-a Navigational watch (II/I) Unlimited Certificate. She was certified competent in ASD tug handling on 24th May 2021.

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