The Federal Government and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank have signed a $40m intervention fund for women in the oil and gas sector.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board-sponsored second edition of the Women in Oil and Gas Industry, Diversity SWG conference held in Lagos on Tuesday.
Sylva while delivering his speech as the special guest of honour, said the fund was made available through the NCDMB-NEXIM Bank collaboration in 2021.
The intervention fund, he said, was in addition to the already existing $300m Nigerian Content InitiativeFund which is equally available to women and men who meet the criteria. The fund is being managed by the Bank of Industry.
“Recognising the importance of women in nation-building, and specifically in the growth and development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board has taken a commendable step in inaugurating the Diversity Sectorial Working Group under the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum as provided in Section 58 of the NOGICD Act”, he said.
According to him, it is imperative to create a platform for more women participation in the sector, as women account for only 22 per cent global labour force in the oil and gas sector.
This year’s conference is themed; ‘Leveraging Opportunities in Oil and Gas Industry’
In his keynote address, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021) in place, one of the opportunity areas therein is for women to leverage on governance inclusion in the administration of the various Trusts and Funds contained in the Act.
“These opportunities require the active involvement of our women. The efforts aimed at repositioning women as formidable players in key areas including the oil and gas industry is already yielding positive result and this this fact is underscored by the International Labour Organization’s 2020 survey which placed Nigeria in the 2nd position among countries where a woman may likely be one’s boss.
“We must commend all the various socio-political interventions and cultural adjustments that make this possible such that our female colleagues, our mothers, our wives, our daughters are treated with respect they deserve in the society” he said.