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Stakeholders Seek Women Inclusion, Diversity in Oil, Gas Industry

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.FG promoting women inclusion in oil, gas industry – Sylva

.as NCDMB seeks women inclusion in administration of funds under PIA

UGO AMADI

Several stakeholders have called for an increase in diversity and inclusion of women in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria to create a balance in human development in the sector.

 

They also  noted that inclusion and fairness in distribution of positions in the industry will lead to even  growth in the industry.

 

However, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says the Federal Government has been deliberately implementing gender-friendly policies that will promote women inclusion in the oil and gas industry.

 

Industry data  recently revealed an uneven gender distribution as women make up just 18 per cent of the workforce, while men constitute 82 per cent of employees in the oil and gas sector.

 

A report recently released by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) disclosed that of  the 60 entities in the oil and gas industry that provided employment data for the 2020 audit, 18,712 employees were captured out of which 15,266 were male, while just 3,446 were female.

 

According to NEITI, of the 18,712 total employees in the industry, 1,495, about  8 per cent was on the top-level employment cadre in the industry; 9,475, made up 51 per cent middle level, while 7,742, approximately 41 per cent, was lower-level employees.

 

The report showed that out of 40 executive management positions in the petroleum industry, only 10 were occupied by women, signifying 25 per cent of total appointments.

 

The lower level employment record showed that out of 7,742 employees, 6,395 were men while the remaining 1,347 were women.

 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) said more than half of the professionals in the oil and gas industry will reach retirement age in the next decade, a situation which it said posed a major threat to the industry.

 

Sylva stated in Lagos at the 2022 Nigerian Women in Oil and Gas Conference organised by the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) Diversity Sectoral Working Group (DSWG) which has ita  conference theme as “Leveraging Opportunities for Women in the Oil and Gas Industry.”

 

He said although women made up 48 per cent of the global work force, they only accounted for 22 per cent of the labour force in the oil and gas sector.

 

“However, 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.

 

“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 dollar Nigerian Content Initiative (NCI) Fund, which is equally available to women (and men) who meet the criteria,” Sylva said.

 

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 energy transition.

 

According to him, harnessing the natural endowment, strength, intuition, knowledge and expertise of women for the growth of the industry has become a fundamental truth.

 

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

 

The minister said: “It is estimated that women occupy about 50 per cent of non-technical positions at entry level compared to only 15 per cent 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 per cent to 24 per cent between the middle and executive level, a recent study by Global Energy Talent Index Report has indicated.”

 

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

 

He, however, stated that the Nigerian government has been deliberate in gender- friendly policies 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.

He noted that the Federal Government, through its NCDMB partnership, has rolled out a $40 million fund to empower women in the oil industry, separate from the Nigerian Content Initiative (NCI) Fund, which is equally available to women (and men) who meet the criteria.

In his words: “Recognising the importance of women in nation building, and specifically in the growth and development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, the NCDMB has taken a commendable step in inaugurating the Diversity Sectoral Working Group under the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) as provided in Section 58 of the NOGICD Act.”

 

He added that the oil and gas industry plays 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.

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

He said to take advantage of the changing landscape, women in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry must work together towards increasing women participation in the industry, engendering growth, building capacities and capabilities, identifying opportunities, mentoring and coaching, in order for the industry to progress as a whole.

He stated that gender diversity and inclusion decreases with seniority, maintaining that there are only a tiny proportion of women in executive positions.

“The percentage of women in the industry drops over time from 36 per cent to 24 per cent between the middle and executive level,” a recent study by Global Energy Talent Index Report has indicated

 

Also, Mr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary ,Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has called for an active inclusion of women in the administration of various trusts and funds contained in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

He said the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 had created several opportunities that could be leveraged to increase the participation of women in the sector.

 

Wabote said they included 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.

 

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said with the PIA 2021 in place, active inclusion of women in the administration of these funds should be leveraged, saying that the Act provides for the establishment of Host Community Development Trust (the Trust) and the Host Community Development Trust Fund for communities.

Wabote said the PIA 2021 also prescribed financial contribution to an environmental remediation fund for the rehabilitation or management of negative environmental impacts of petroleum operations.

According to him, these opportunities require the active involvement of our women, pointing out that efforts aimed at repositioning women as formidable players in key areas, including the oil and gas industry, are already yielding positive results.

The NCDMB boss said Nigerian women in energy is a strategic response to build a robust and sustainable stream of professionals and businesses that are adaptable to changing needs in the energy landscape.

On her part, 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.

 

Earlier, Mrs 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.

 

Onosode said women were making significant progress in the industry, especially with the appointment of Sen. Chuba-Okadigbo as the NNPC board chairman and Mrs Elohor Aiboni as the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company

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Nigerians to enjoy improved power supply from July 1 – NERC

Mr Sanusi Garba, Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says Nigerians will witness improved power supply from July 1 following renewed efforts by industry stakeholders.

Garba gave the assurance at an interactive session with newsmen after the Second Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) meeting on Wednesday in Lagos.

The meeting was attended by top officials of NERC, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Generation Companies as well electricity Distribution Companies.

He said NERC had facilitated a contractual agreement between the Gencos, TCN and the 11 DisCos that would guarantee the generation, transmission and distribution of an average of 5,000MW of electricity daily to customers effective July 1.

According to him, the contract is binding on all the players across the sector’s value chain and stipulates penalties for any party that defaults on the arrangement under the new regime.

Garba said: “Yes, we have had discussions with the gas suppliers within our regulatory space. We have them on board to ensure that once we made the commercial requirements, gas was going to flow.

“Now, for transmission we have heard of figures well in excess of 5,000MW and clearly TCN will be able to deliver that.

“I recall clearly in March last year we had 5,400MW. So, it means it is quite possible based on signed commitments.”

He said all the stakeholders across the value chain had obligations and there would be consequences if they failed to deliver.

“So, in a situation where Gencos are able to deliver 5,000MW but TCN is unable to do so, they’ll pay the penalty to the generation company and so on.

“And whenever the power is available and DisCos do not take the power;

then they will pay liquidated damages that will compensate other market participants.

“We might not have 24/7 power supply from July 1 but Nigerians will see the trajectory because the target is to have an average of 5,000MW daily for transmission and distribution,” said Garba.

He also blamed the recent collapse of the national grid on inadequate gas supply, maintenance of some thermal stations as well as vandalism of power infrastructure and gas pipelines.

“The challenges of today are very clear. In the past, it used to be weak infrastructure and so on and so forth. Now we have certain external factors contributing to these events.

“Obviously, it’s not common around the world to see people coming down, pulling down transmission towers for no reason; or blowing up crude oil lines.

“In a number of instances, most of the gas we have today is associated gas and because of that when crude lines are disrupted it also affects the supply of gas to the thermal stations,” he said.

Garba commended the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the interventions in the power sector, adding that country would soon start feeling the impact of the investments positively.

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