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Implementation of PIA will spur women’s participation in oil and gas ​― NCDMB


The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote, has described the enactment and effective implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 as a way of creating numerous opportunities that could be leveraged to increase women’s participation in the oil and gas sector.

According to Wabote,  the administration of the various Trusts and Funds contained in the Act, opportunities in the National Gas Expansion Programme and the almost completed Industrial Parks in Bayelsa and Cross River would provide huge benefits for women.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB  gave this assurance in Lagos during the 2022 Nigerian Women in Oil and Gas Conference organised by the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) Diversity Sectoral Working Group (DSWG).

He described the theme of the conference; ‘Leveraging Opportunities for Women in the Oil and Gas Industry’ as “very appropriate”, adding that it’s coming at a time when the nation is repositioning the industry for greater in-country value addition, efficiency, transparency, and investments.

The conference brought together women in management positions in the oil and gas  sector who shared their experiences and what  should be done in terms of incentives  to encourage  both primary and secondary school girls in science subjects

To achieve the objective of the platform, Wabote said “We must start from the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to encourage them in  STEM education.

STEM education is a teaching approach that combines science, technology, engineering and math.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the Federal Government is deliberately implementing gender-friendly policies that will promote women’s inclusion in the sector.

Sylva pointed out that although women made up 48 per cent of the global workforce, they only accounted for 22 per cent of the labour force in the oil and gas sector.

However, he maintained that the federal government has been deliberate in gender-friendly policies.

This, according to him, was aimed at increasing access to funding, award of contracts and support for research and development in the interest of women operators in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Sylva said: “This government, through its Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) – Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) partnership, has rolled out a 40 million dollar fund to empower women in the oil industry.

“This is separate from the 300 million dollars Nigerian Content Initiative (NCI) Fund, which is equally available to women (and men) who meet the criteria.”

The minister stated that the industry played a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the world and would continue to play this key role in spite of the growing call for the energy transition.

He stated that harnessing the natural endowment, strength, intuition, knowledge and expertise of women for the growth of the industry has become a fundamental truth.

The minister noted that women needed one another to survive the realities of the sector, whether locally or internationally.

He, therefore, urged the various women groups in the sector to work together in championing the course of women in the industry.

Chairman, Board of Directors, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd., Sen. Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, said it was imperative for more women to participate in the oil and gas space because of its significant contribution to the economy.

She, therefore, urged the leadership of the NCDMB to consider replicating the board’s Project 100 Companies by creating a model exclusively for women-owned Nigerian companies.

Also, Mrs Alero Onosode of the NCCF-DSWG said the oil and gas industry was technical, capital intensive and of high risk, adding that women should leverage the opportunities by being always resilient and prepared.

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