No fewer than three thousand (3000) 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 capacity building initiative, which focused on Information Communication Technology, ICT, maritime transportation and logistics ecosystem, was hosted by Ocean Ambassadors Foundation to promote the participation of Indigent Girl-Child in maritime commerce. Unity Bank partnered the capacity building programme as part of the Bank’s 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.
The capacity building initiative is coming against the backdrop of the negative impact of COVID-19 on the education sector which has affected millions of girls across Nigeria, resulting in “many girls being unable to return to schools 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 has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, while also highlighting girls’ diverse digital realities”.
The Managing Director/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun represented by the Chief Customer Service Officer, Mrs. Titilayo Abraham officially opened the event. Commenting on the initiative, she stated that: “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 has 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.
The organisers of the capacity building, Ocean Ambassadors Foundation commended Unity Bank, adding that “the sensitization for the Girl-Child to take advantage of career opportunities in the ICT and maritime cannot be over-emphasized. According to the Group, this also amplifies the “Global Advocacy of the Sustainable Development Goal’s 4, 5, and 14” stating that “Gender equality and women empowerment require deliberate transformative shifts, new technological solutions and integrated approaches”.