Senator Okadigbo Calls for More Women Participation in Oil and Gas Industry

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…….As FG creates N14.6bn fund for women inclusion in oil & gas

Chairman, board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, Senator Magery Chuba Okadigbo, has called on the Nigerian Content Development Management Board (NCDMB) to consider replicating the board’s Project 100 Companies by creating a model exclusively for women-owned Nigerian companies.

Senator Okadigbo who spoke yesterday during the 2022 Nigerian Women in Oil and Gas Conference organised by the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) Diversity Sectoral Working Group (DSWG) in Lagos, urged women to participate actively in the oil and gas business space.

In his address during the event, minister of state for petroleum resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva has said that the federal government disposition to gender friendly policies is deliberate, and designed to promote women inclusion and increase access funding and collaborations in the oil and gas industry.

He informed that the federal government, through NCDMB and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) partnership, has rolled out a $40million dollar fund to empower women in the oil industry.

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

According to the minister, although women make up 48% of the global work force, they only account for 22% of the labour force in the oil and gas sector.

“The Nigerian government has been deliberate in gender-friendly policies. This is 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.

According to him, 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 energy transition.

“It is estimated that women occupy about 50% of non-technical positions at entry level compared to only 15% of technical and field role positions.

“Gender diversity and inclusion decreases with seniority. There is only a tiny proportion of women in executive positions. The percentage of women in the industry drops over time from 36% to 24% between the middle and executive level, a recent study by Global Energy Talent Index Report has indicated.”

The NCDMB boss posited that the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 has created several opportunities that could be leveraged to increase the participation of women in the sector.

They include administration of the various Trusts and Funds contained in the Act, opportunities in National Gas Expansion Programme and the almost completed Industrial Parks in Bayelsa and Cross River.

Earlier, 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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