Sen. Margery Okadigbo, Board Chairman, Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has emphasised the need to promote gender equality in the energy sector in view of its huge benefits.
Okadigbo made this known on Wednesday in Abuja at the commemoration of the International Women Day by the Women in Energy, Oil and Gas (WEOG) in Nigeria with the theme “The Limitless Woman: Leveraging Innovation and Technology.”
The event, organised in collaboration with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Women Commission, Kaduna Zone was hosted by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).
She said aggressive capacity building for women who specialised on technical skill especially in view of energy transition should be a priority to change the narrative.
Okadigbo, while stating that globally, women in the energy sector faced barriers of employment, leadership and others, said breaking the barrier of inequality would be ineffective without government active participation in promoting policy initiative.
The Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr Bello Gusau, expressed commitment to continue to support the association’s activities.
The PTDF boss said apart from its scholarship scheme, it was also into institutional development, adding that there were many PTDF activities that the association could key into.
Speaking, Dr Oladunni Owo, National President, WEOG, said March had been designated as the month to celebrate womanhood so its celebration was in line with the tenets of the United Nations women.
Owo said it organised the event to advance women’s empowerment and recognise their contribution to the oil and gas industry in commemoration of Women’s Day globally.
“We are having this event as a channel to celebrate our women in the energy industry across the energy value chain.
“According to statistics, currently women own 20 per cent in the industry and at leadership level we are just about seven per cent which is one of the reasons why we had to form the association five years ago.
“It aims at mainstreaming women into the industry both as employees and as business owners to cut across the value chain of the energy oil and gas space.”
She said based on its urge to have the voice of women in the Nigeria local content space, it was collaborating with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board on advocacy document which entailed the formulation of a sectorial working group.
According to her, the group which is under the Nigerian content and consultative forum focused on gender diversity and in response to the clarion call the board approved for the sectorial working group to be created.
She also commended the PTDF on its reach out for scholarship for qualified Nigerians in masters and doctorate degrees.
“And I know that PTDF has very strong concentration for women. After this event, we would find a way to strengthen that relationship so that we can take it to the next level especially from the grassroots,” she said.