A $40 million intervention fund for women in the oil and gas sector has been signed by the Federal Government and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, made the announcement on Tuesday at the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board-sponsored second edition of the Women in Oil and Gas Industry, Diversity SWG conference in Lagos.
In his statement as the special guest of honor, Sylva stated that the money was made available in 2021 through the NCDMB-NEXIM Bank agreement.
He explained that the intervention fund was in addition to the current $300 million Nigerian Content InitiativeFund, which is open to both men and women who fit the criteria. The Bank of Industry is in charge of the fund’s management.
“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, creating a platform for increased women engagement in the sector is critical, as women make up only 22% of the global workforce in the oil and gas sector.
This year’s conference is themed; ‘Leveraging Opportunities in Oil and Gas Industry’
“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.” he said.
“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 added.