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NCCF: What NCMB’s $20m Loan facility means for Nigerian women

In a bid to get more women involved in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is setting up of a $20million loan scheme to support women in business.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, made the clarification at a virtual roundtable by the Diversity Sectoral Working Group (SWG) of the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF).

The aim of the virtual event is to provide a platform for women in the oil and gas industry to deliberate on issues affecting their entry into the sector as employees or entrepreneurs, their career advancement to top positions, their peculiar challenges, as well as showcase role models and share their success stories.

Wabote explained how his team approached the governing council of the NCDMB and requested for some funds to support the women in business most especially to support those who are already in the upstream as well as STEM education.

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

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“Graciously the council approved the sum of 20 million dollars for us to be able to support this affirmative action. That is not a grant, that is not a dash, that is a loan scheme that is set aside with the bank of industry, managed end to end by the bank of industry and NCDMB,” Wabote told the audience at the virtual event.

He explained how women empowerment in the oil and gas industry was of great importance while also noting that there is already a laid down process in which this funds can be accessed with the bank of industry.

“We also want to support is the continued advocacy to say if we have to run workshops, if we have to run seminars on women in oil and gas through the NCCF, they are also prepared to support that process in order that we continue our advocacy journey,” Wabote said.

Corroborating Wabote’s stand, Alero Onosode, Chairperson, Diversity Sectoral Working Group, NCCF, said there was a need to strike a balance between men and women representation in the oil and gas sector.

According to her, ensuring women inclusion would allow for more diversity in terms of input, thereby enriching outcomes.

She noted that the working group was established to identify areas of collaborations as there are about 9 groups working together to harness value for women in the oil and gas sector.

She added that, “The group has four key pillars of which centers on how to impact the lives of women in the sector as well as research to know the current data of women participation as there is no confirmed data yet,”

Others, according to Onosode include: “Policy advocacy and capacity development which will enhance networking and stakeholder engagement.”

She noted that the target is that by the end of 2021, there should be valuable data of women in business and women in organisation available by the group.

In his closing remarks, The Director of Planning, Statistics and Research of the NCDMB as well as the SWG Coordinator, Patrick Obah emphasised the importance of women in the industry, while reiterating the Board’s commitment to support women-owned businesses and projects.

“The truth is that women run the world, everybody knows that and that is the truth. So how do we make them run the world today using statistics to prove to the society that yes, this is the direction?”

Women Associations present at the stakeholder’s engagement meeting includes: Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Women in Energy, Oil & Gas (WEOG) and Women In Energy Network (WIEN).

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