The Director-General/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Dr. Bayero Salih Farah, has stated that the Institute is gender compliant. He disclosed this when he hosted the Coordinator, Gender Policy Unit, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr. Eugenia Chika Akpa, who paid him a courtesy call recently in Zaria.
Dr. Farah said that NITT had ensured equity in male and female participation in “our programmes and activities over the years”, adding, that “we are committed to doing so even now”. “We have a woman among the Institute’s Directors, as well as an appreciable number of women among the Institute’s staff”, he corroborated.
Dr. Farah also noted that the transport sector as a whole had been working assiduously towards achieving gender parity, adding that gender equity would pave way for the optimal utilisation of human resources.
Concurring that the ratio of women to men involvement in transport had yet to reach equilibrium, Dr. Farah stressed the fact that “a lot of efforts have been made in the industry to encourage women to participate in the industry”. He said associations like Women in Logistics and Transport, as well as Women in Maritime Industry, were some of the measures to help attract women into the industry. He also noted that as part of its advisory role, NITT would bring gender discourse to the front burner by advising the government “to make deliberate policies to accommodate women in the industry”.
Dr. Farah, however, acknowledged that the transport and logistics industry tilts towards the male gender. “This is perhaps due to the nature of the industry which makes it somewhat difficult for the female gender to participate”, he said. He enumerated some of the inhibiting factors to include culture and the energy-sapping nature of the industry.
The NITT helmsman also pledged to support the Gender Policy Unit in its upcoming international conference.
Speaking earlier, the Coordinator, Gender Policy Unit, ABU, Zaria, Dr. Eugenia Chika Akpa, said that the Unit was in the Institute for advocacy as well as solicit support for its upcoming international conference. She asserted that the fight against gender discrimination required all hands to be on deck. The family, educational institutions, religious bodies and society should play a part, she said. Dr. Akpa noted that the primary aim of setting up the Unit was to “deal with gender-based violence” together with helping the “university articulate gender issues, policies, and mainstream gender in its entirety in ABU and its environs”.
Breaking the gender glass ceiling was part of their mission to NITT, Dr. Akpa emphasised. She appealed to NITT to make gender-friendly policies in order to attract the female gender. She also observed that “these days science and technology have made it possible for women to be able to deliver in the hitherto thought to be male-dominated areas”. She further stated that women could play a critical role in the transport and logistics industry by bringing their expertise, patience and meekness to bear. This she said would help reduce road traffic accidents and fatalities.