The Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau has pledged to support the Women in Energy, Oil and Gas (WEOG) in the area of capacity building as a way of bridging the existing gender gap in the energy sector.
Dr. Gusau made the pledge at the Strategic Women in Energy Oil and Gas Summit and Awards Presentation held at the PTDF Main Auditorium on Wednesday in Abuja.
Represented by the General Manager, Strategic Planning and Documentation, Mr Jide Adebulehin, the PTDF boss urged the association to key into the Fund’s numerous capacity building programmes for its members to be trained even outside the country.
The event themed, “THE LIMITLESS WOMAN: Leveraging Innovation and Technology” was organized by the Association to advance women’s empowerment and recognize their contribution to the oil and gas industry in commemoration of Women’s Day globally.
Earlier, Senator Margret Chuba Okadigbo, wife of the late former Senate President, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo said, the energy sector was the most gender imbalance sectors in the world’s economy.
Senator Okadigbo who is also the current Chairman of the board and management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) said, available statistics show that women account for one percent (1%) of oil and gas Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), adding that other sources indicate that women hold fewer than five percent (5%) of top positions in the energy sector and fewer than fourteen percent (14%) of senior management positions in energy related businesses.
Okadigbo said, globally, women in energy sector face barriers in the areas of education, employment, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship.
While calling for gender equality in the energy sector, Senator Okadigbo said, greater attention should be paid to girl child education and capacity building through scholarship and mentorship, if women must change the narrative.
She added that energy policies and programmes must be formulated to integrate gender and diversity based analysis to combat discrimination.
Also speaking, the National President, WEOG, Dr. Oladumi Owo said, the International Women’s month celebration was in line with the United Nations International Women’s Day marked annually in March.
She said, currently, women holds below 20 percent in the industry and at leadership, about seven (7), which according to her, was one of the reasons the association was formed five years ago to help mainstream women into the industry both as employees and business owners and entrepreneurs cut across the entire value chain of the energy oil and gas space.
She said, the association was ready to strengthen its existing partnership with some industry stakeholders like PTDF for capacity building.
“PTDF has strong consideration for women, therefore, we would find away of strengthening the existing partnership with them so as to empower more women”, she said.