IWD2024: NEITI, Diaspora Commission Partner On Gender Equity

Group photo of stakeholders at the meeting

By Gift Eguavoen

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) have agreed to establish an inter-agency cooperation to promote career advancement of women in both organizations.

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

The inter-agency cooperation will cover capacity building programs, environmental, gender, social economic and development challenges that frustrate women career advancement in public service.

The NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, in his remarks, 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.

“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,” Dr. Orji said.

He explained 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 participation, gender, social, environmental issues in the extractive Industries.

According to him, the goal of EITI Reports is to highlight the risks that women are confronted with in rural host communities where oil, gas and mining exploration activities take place, as well as the remedy required.

Dr. Orji lamented that information and data from NEITI Industry Reports on women participation in the Extractive Sector remain quite discouraging and far from 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.

The NEITI boss announced that to reverse this negative trend, 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”, he said.

For her part, the special guest 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 added however, that career women in public service should place priority attention to family above all other choices.

She 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 land, 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.


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