Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria has conferred Special Awards on human rights activist/ maritime lawyer, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani; Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho; veteran journalist and Chief Executive, Kings Communications Limited, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke; among others.
These awards were doled out at 2022 Annual Business Luncheon and Magazine Launch by WISTA Nigeria on Thursday, at Lagos Oriental Hotel.
According to the President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke, the award recipents were selected based on meritorious service in the nation’s maritime sector.
Ezeoke described Dr. Agbakoba as a human rights champion with significant contributions in Nigeria’s maritime sector even as she specially commended him for availing women opportunities at his legal firm which has produced two female Senior Advocates and former WISTA Presidents; Mrs. Funke Agbor (SAN) and Mrs. Jean-Chiazor Anishere (SAN).
Capt. Ihenacho was equally lauded for his giant strides in shipping, while Anaroke was specially commended for lavishly celebrating and projecting women with the MMS Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame (WOFHOF) Initiative.
Speaking at the event, the Guest Speaker, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji described the theme; “Innovation and Digitization for Sustainable Shipping” as timely and relevant.
The Medical Doctor and Entrepreneur, who is also the National Vice President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), observed that there is a constant pressure to reduce the carbon footprints of the world’s shipping fleets, adding that this will require innovations to achieve.
Membere dismissed concerns about additional costs from transitioning into new technologies for greener shipping, stressing that in the long term, green shipping guarantees more efficiency and cost-effective operations.
His words: “The International Maritime Organization (IMO), has committed to a maritime emission reduction agreement in 2018, requiring the shipping industry to reduce carbone missions by 50% in 2050. To this effect, industry players are exploring use of low carbon fuels, more streamlined hulls, more efficient propeller design, improved voyage planning to make savings on fuels, better hull coatings and even air cushions to reduce frictions, apply Just In Time (JIT) ship arrival scheduling’s to short-haul shipping.”
“There‘s growing interest in the use of LNG as fuel for commercial ships. LNG as fuel will not only reduce carbon footprints (by as much as 25%), but will reduce cost of ship fueling. Today many ships plying international waters are partly electrified through diesel-electric transmission systems. Some smaller vessels are already running only on electric transmission system. The use of solar panels and other forms of renewable energy to power fleets of the future are also being explored. In all, the “Teslas of the Seas” in commercial shipping is closer than earlier imagined.”
One of the award recipents, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke elatedly described the award as a “special one”.
His words: “I have received several awards in the past, but this one is really special and I appreciate it more than others I received in the past. They say a prophet is hardly honoured in his hometown, but with this award WISTA has just changed that expression.”
“There wouldn’t have been MMS Hall of Fame without WISTA Nigeria and the MMS WOFHOF Initiative wouldn’t have existed without my late wife, Promise Anaroke. On this note, I dedicate this award firstly to all the women in the maritime industry and I also dedicate it to my late wife.”
Five new WISTA Diamonds emerged at the event as Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke, Mrs. Rita Egbuche, Mrs. Rollens Macfoy, Mrs. Faith hope Alloysius and Mrs. Toying Ogunbambi were awarded WISTA Diamonds.
The ceremony also featured a panel discussion on the theme and the 2022 WISTA Nigeria magazine was also launched at the summit.