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Local Content: NCDMB Committed to Close Gender Gap in Oil Industry

-By Adeniyi Onifade

The Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, is committed to increasing women participation in the nation’s oil and gas sector, the Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote said.

Speaking at the maiden edition of Women in Oil and Gas Industry Workshop with the theme, “Mainstreaming Women In The Oil And Gas Industry” Wabote cited a recent study by the Global Energy Talent Index Report which categorically declared that there is a chronic shortage of women in the oil and gas industry.

According to Wabote, It is estimated that women occupy about 50 percent of non-technical positions at entry-level compared to only 15 percent of technical and field role positions, adding that gender diversity decreases with seniority with only a tiny proportion of women in executive positions. “The percentage of women in the industry drops over time from 36 percent to 24 percent between the middle and executive level.”, he said. Wabote stated that the agency has recognised the unique challenges faced by women in the oil and gas industry and would take advantage of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act to reverse the trend.

Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB

“Looking at some of the challenges such as career advancement, untapped talents, gender imbalance and limited presence of women in technical roles (STEM), etc. encountered by women in the oil and gas industry, I would like to believe that there is a glimmer of hope in the sector.

“The energy policies we establish today will affect the investment and innovations of tomorrow, and those technologies will help determine the economic growth and individual opportunities for future generation.” Wabote stated.

He expressed NCDMB’s determination to play the role in human capacity development, stressing that part of the Board’s strategy for implementing the NOGICD Act is development and implementation of its Capacity Development Initiatives “Our capacity building interventions includes deepening indigenous capabilities in the areas of Human Capital Development, Infrastructure & Facilities, Manufacturing, and Local Supplier Development.

“We have taken specific steps to train maritime cadets, secondary school teachers, agricultural entrepreneurs, pilots, IDPs training in different crafts, technicians, engineers, and environmentalists with over 6 million training manhours delivered.

We also have capacity building centers embedded in the design of our Nigerian Oil and Parks Scheme as part of our contribution to the development of infrastructure in the country.

“Out of the total number trained by the Board, women constitute about 20 percent of the trainees and we hope to increase the number of women trained to meet up the industry skilled labour demand and we will also do more to encourage women to participate more in the oil and gas industry across the country “, he enumerated.

The ES stated that the NOGICD Act sets the minimum targets in 278 services across the oil and gas value chain in the Schedule and it covers the search, development, production, and utilisation of Hydrocarbons (full life cycle) and beyond.

The Schedule is a compendium of opportunities as it lists various activities in the oil and gas industry and sets out the desired level of Nigerian content in accordance with various units of measurement.

However, beyond the known services in the oil and gas services such as fabrication and construction, well drilling services, installations, FEED and detailed design engineering etc, there are other opportunities in the sector which women can key into and implored women to take full advantage of the NOGICD Act.

He said that on the global scale, women make up about 15 percent of the workforce in the oil and gas industry which is considerably smaller than most major industries such as finance, manufacturing, construction etc.

“We have put in place a 10 year strategic roadmap aimed at increasing the Nigerian content level in the oil and gas industry to 70 percent by the year 2027. I believe that our women have a big role to play in this journey” Wabote added.

In her goodwill message, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Port Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman said women should always define themselves based on their capabilities and capacities. Women should always come to the table with their skills as a major strength of bargain not asking for favor just because they are women “we need to define our selves around our capacities and our capabilities not because we are women”.

Also in her speech, the acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation who was the immediate past Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan proposed effective implementation of gender-related policy and mentorship as ways women can build a strong force in the oil and gas industry. She called on women professionals to adopt and mentor young girls from basic to advanced level of education in order to bridge the gap that exists.