NEITI, Diaspora Commission Partner To Promote Gender Equity


The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) have pledged commitment to promote gender equity and advance the careers of women in both organizations.

NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, and the Chairman of NiDCOM, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa agreed on the partnership at the NEITI House, Abuja at this year’s International Women’s Day celebration.

The agency’s Deputy Director/Head of Communications and Stakeholders Management, Mrs. Obiageli Onuorah in a statement on Sunday, March 10, 2024, said, the inter-agency cooperation would cover capacity-building programmes, environmental, gender, social-economic development challenges that frustrate women’s career advancement in public service.

In his opening speech, the NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji described Women’s Day as a very important annual event for NEITI to join the rest of the World to highlight, identify and celebrate the valued contributions of women to national development generally and the Extractive Industries in particular.

Dr. Orji remarked: ” It is a day to advocate for equity, inclusivity, gender justice, wider opportunities for women in the oil, gas, and mining sectors in the areas of job opportunities, career advancement, and security in work environment”.

The NEITI Executive Secretary underlined that the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standards particularly require implementing countries including Nigeria to promote greater diversity in decision making, document and publicly disclose women’s participation, gender, social, and environmental issues in the extractive Industries.

The goal of EITI Reports he added was to highlight the risks that women are confronted with in rural host communities where oil, gas, and mining exploration activities take place, document such risks, and the remedy required.

Dr. Orji lamented that information and data from NEITI Industry Reports on women’s participation in the Extractive Sector remain quite discouraging and far from the national average. For instance, the 2021 Oil and Gas Industry Report employment data from 56 out of 70 oil companies disclosed that out of 19,171 employees, 15,639 or 82% are men while only 3,532 or 18%) of the employees are women.

The disclosure is far from the national average of 35%. From the same gender balance data, all top high-level management positions in the industry are dominated by men.

Dr. Orji announced that to reverse this negative trend through deliberate advocacy and engagements, NEITI under his leadership has deliberately created Gender and Environmental Unit in the Policy, Planning & Strategy (PPS) Department.

This Unit is set up to ensure women’s inclusion in extractive governance and EITI processes, report on the gender distribution and participation in the extractive sector issues.

Addressing the special forum, the special Guest of Honour and Chief Executive of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa advised career women in public service to cultivate the culture of self-confidence, invest in self-education and skills development, discipline, integrity hard work, professionalism and passion to create public value in any given assignment. She advised all career women in public service to place priority attention to family above all other choices.

Hon. Abike Dabiri explained that the inter-agency cooperation and partnership will help document and mobilise professional Nigerian career women in the Diaspora, especially from 57 EITI member countries to contribute in diverse ways towards national development.

On the current Japa syndrome that pushes Nigerian youths in search of green pastures in foreign lands, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa advised those wishing to move abroad to seek adequate information and guidance warning that life abroad could be worse and more difficult than challenges at home.

High-profile women in top positions from ministries, departments agencies, the media, and civil society joined NEITI women to mark the day with inspiring speeches.

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