By John Ikani
To address the challenge of funding for women participation in the oil and gas industry, the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), in partnership with the Nigerian Export Import (NEXIM) Bank, has earmarked a total of $40million intervention fund for the purpose.
Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, made this known on Wednesday in Abuja at the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) second Annual General Meeting/Lecture Series.
The theme of the meeting was: “Diversity & inclusiveness in human capital development.”
Delivering a virtual goodwill message at the event, Engr. Wabote said there is no gender bias at the NCDMB.
He added that activities in the board are all-inclusive, stressing that it provides genders equal opportunities.
The Executive Secretary said: “At the NCDMB there is no gender bias as it is all inclusive and provides equal opportunities for applicants and beneficiaries.
“The Board has also initiated and executed other interventions to promote diversity inclusiveness.
“These interventions are done in partnership with the Bank of Industry. Others are facilitated by the Nigerian Export Import Bank. One of the challenges of the participation of women in the oil and gas could be the non-availability of funds. It was in the bid to address this challenge that the board established the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund.
“Furthermore, to provide the same chance for women in the oil and gas industry, the board partnered with NEXIM bank to establish a $20million fund that was matched with additional $20million by NEXIM bank to provide better fund, bringing the funds available to women in oil and gas industry to $40million.”
On the theme, Wabote recalled that to address issues of diversity at the agency, it established the diversity sectoral group.
He noted that the Board has organised several events targeted at women and the community to promote women inclusiveness.
The local content boss pledged that the Board will continue to promote human capacity development across various spheres of the energy sector.
In his lecture, the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on Gas Business, Dr. Justice Derefaka, noted that women “want to break the glass ceiling and technology has a key role to play”.
His topic was “Leveraging diversity inclusiveness and the future of jobs through the lens of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The technical adviser sought a digital up-skilling to bridge the gap that the modern technological revolution has created.
Derefaka noted that the industry is beginning to feel the effect of an ageing workforce and enlarging skill gap and a talent scarcity.
He said to bridge the unemployment and gender inequality gaps, smart and applied actions must be taken.
Darefaka urged for the provision of a workforce that would possess the require skills necessary for a changed and a changing world of developing economies like Nigeria.
He sought changes into emerging technological breakthroughs in fields as robotics, artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, energy storage and other technologies.
President, OCTAN, Mazi Sam Onyechi, said the resource persons would help explain how next generation participation would help in the emerging energy world.
He was optimistic that at the end of the meeting, participants would be convinced that gender diversity and inclusiveness was worthy of promotion and should form part of business decision.
Onyechi was hopeful that the event would be a guide to the female on what role to pursue even in acclaimed male dominated ones.
“The theme looking at how human capacity initiatives can be tailored, structured and delivered to show no bias in either curriculum construction against the female gender.
“OGTAN as a skill development organisation should be aiding this inclusiveness by our programmes and training methodology,” he said.