No fewer than three thousand girls drawn from Senior Secondary Schools across Nigeria have benefitted from a 3-day capacity building initiative on maritime commerce and national virtual maritime quiz powered by Unity Bank Plc.
The initiative, which focused on Information Communication Technology, ICT, maritime transportation and logistics ecosystem, was hosted by Ocean Ambassadors Foundation to promote the participation of the indigent girl-child in maritime commerce.
Unity Bank partnered the programme as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives targeted at the education sector and to draw attention to the imperatives of training the girl-child to participate actively in the relevant sectors of the economy.
This is coming against the backdrop of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the education sector which affected millions of girls across Nigeria, resulting in “many girls being unable to return to school and many others becoming child brides,” according to a recent report by the Economist.
The programme coincided with the International Day of the Girl-Child which was marked to highlight how “the pandemic accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, while also highlighting girls’ diverse digital realities”.
Unity Bank Managing Director/CEO, Mrs Tomi Somefun represented by the Chief Customer Service Officer, Mrs Titilayo Abraham officially opened the event.
She said: “Unity Bank has maintained its commitment to supporting the girl- child by supporting several advocacy initiatives and investing in the education sector. “The National Maritime Quiz is yet another opportunity to contribute to the movement to encourage, educate and empower the Girl-Child to participate in the economy while driving access to education. We commend the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation for their initiatives aimed at bridging the gender gap in the ICT, maritime, transportation and logistics sectors in Nigeria.”
Unity Bank had in time past demonstrated commitment to supporting the education sector, especially for initiatives targeted at children. One of the Bank’s flagship initiatives – One Minute Genius (OMG) and others such as Unity Bank Spelling ‘B’ Competition, One Day CEO, are annual educational platforms of the Bank aimed at boosting financial literacy among Nigerian children.
Ocean Ambassadors Foundation commended Unity Bank, noting that the sensitization for the Girl-Child to take advantage of career opportunities in the ICT and maritime cannot be over-emphasized. “This also amplifies the Global Advocacy of the Sustainable Development Goal’s 4, 5, and 14. Gender equality and women empowerment require deliberate transformative shifts, new technological solutions and integrated approaches”, the group said.