Women inclusion, key to unlocking potential of oil and gas industry
An analysis by Solomon Asowata, News Agency of Nigeria
The oil and gas industry is the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, providing thousands of direct and indirect jobs and contributing substantially to the nation’s foreign reserves.
It is a known fact that oil alone accounts for 40 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 70 per cent of budget revenues and 95 per cent of foreign exchange earnings.
Despite the invaluable contribution of the sector to the economy, experts believe that it still has huge potential, and that there is need for deliberate inclusion of women in the sector to unlock the potential.
However, the industry remains male-dominated at all levels; from leadership roles in major corporations to jobs in mines and on oil rigs.
According to a recent study by the Global Energy Talent Index, whereas women make up 48 per cent of the global labour force, they only account for 22 per cent of the labour force in the oil and gas sector.
The study said women occupied about 50 per cent of non-technical positions at entry-level compared to only 15 per cent of technical and field role positions.
“This implies that the gender diversity and inclusion decreases with seniority, with only a tiny proportion of women in executive positions.
“The percentage of women in the industry drops from 36 per cent to 24 per cent between the middle and executive levels,” the study added.
In Nigeria, women have been pushing for more inclusion in the energy space and are beginning to make progress despite the socio-economic, political and cultural challenges.
For instance, Mrs Elohor Aiboni, was in March 2021 appointed as the first female Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd. (SNEPCO).
Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari, in January 2022 appointed Sen. Margery Chuba-Okadigbo as the pioneer Board Chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd.
Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the Federal Government had been deliberate in introducing gender-friendly policies that would promote women inclusion in the oil and gas industry.
Sylva, who spoke at a recent Nigerian Women in Oil and Gas Conference in Lagos, said this included increasing access to funding, award of contracts and support for research and development in the interest of women operators in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The minister harped on the need to get more girls into Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), which was a pathway to careers in the oil and gas industry.
He also advised women in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to work together towards increasing participation of women in the industry by engendering growth, building capacities and capabilities, identifying opportunities, mentoring and coaching.
Also, Mr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), recently announced that the board would soon begin the disbursement of the 40 million dollar Women in Energy Fund to support women in the sector.
Wabote said the fund was set up by the NCDMB in partnership with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank), adding that 15 applications had been received and three had been approved for disbursement.
He also canvassed the inclusion of women in the administration of the various Trusts and Funds that were established by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, notably the Host Community Development Trust, Host Community Development Trust Fund and Environmental Remediation Fund.
The NCDMB boss further confirmed that the Oil and Gas Industrial Parks in Bayelsa and Cross River were getting ready for completion and would commence operations in 2023.
He noted that the board had started inviting applicants for allocation of plots to set up manufacturing outfits in the park and encouraged women-owned businesses with workable proposals to apply.
Wabote promised that women would be given special consideration as part of the board’s commitment to mainstream them into the oil and gas industry.
On her part, Chuba-Okadigbo has challenged the NCDMB to institute a development programme like the Project 100 for oil and gas firms owned by women.
She said the implementation of the PIA provided a good opportunity to mainstream more women in oil and gas activities and also recommended formal mentorship and role modelling for younger women.
While the recent appointments of Chuba-Okadigbo and Aiboni are quite significant, experts believe that there is a lot that still need to be done for inclusion of more women in the oil and gas industry.
Mrs Funmi Ogbue, President, Women in Energy Network, insists that government at all levels should promote women leadership in the energy sector by appointing more women to head agencies and institutions at sectional, regional and international levels.
Ogbue said this would help bridge the gap in the sector, while also giving more women opportunities to contribute their quota to national development.
Also, Mrs Anita Ogboile, Chief Executive Officer, Deep Blue Energy, said there was need to create awareness of STEM and its importance to younger females, especially those in secondary schools.
Ogboile said demystifying the myth that women would not succeed in the industry was very key and would help encourage others to go into the sector.
Indeed, the exploits of women in the oil and gas sector holds brighter prospects for the sector, and invariably the economy.
Kaduna State has emerged winner of the 2022 Northwest Science Quiz Competition organised by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abdulrahman Umar-Muhammad from Kaduna State won the competition held on Wednesday in Kano with 45 points.Ibrahim Abubakar from Kebbi State came second with 40 points, while Rabiya Muhammad from Jigawa State scored 35 points to clinch the third position respectively.The quizz competition featured cores subjects of English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry.In a keynote address, Mr Garba Muhammad, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, said that the competition was part of the corporation’s corporate social responsibility.Represented by Mr Ismaila Salihu, NNPC Manager, Administration, Budget, Planning and Monitoring, Muhammad said the competition was aimed at encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education among youths in the country.He said that it would assist in grooming a pool of highly trained youths who would be available to take up key positions in the company and in the Nigerian energy sector.Also speaking, Mr Haruna Muhammad, Director Science, Kano State Ministry of Education, commended NNPC for the huge investments to improve the education sector in the country.He assured that the state government would continue to collaborate with such donor organisations to improve science education in the state. (
The House of Representatives, has constituted an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy regime between 2017 and 2021 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).
This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Sergius Ogun (PDP-Edo), on the floor of the House on Wednesday in Abuja.
In his motion, Ogun said he was informed that as of 2002, the NNPC purchased crude oil at international market prices, which stood at 445,000 barrels per day.
He added that it was to enable it provide petroleum products for local consumption, saying he was concerned that as of 2002, the installed capacity of Nigeria’s local refineries stood at 445,000 barrels per day.
He, however, said that their capacity utilisation began to nosedive, and eventually fell completely to zero, due to the ineffectiveness and alleged corruption of critical stakeholders in the value chain.
The lawmaker said that due to decline in the production capacity of the refineries, NNPC found it more convenient to export domestic crude, in exchange for petroleum products on trade by barter basis.
According to him, the component cost in petroleum products subsidy value chain claim by the NNPC, is highly over-bloated.
Ogun claimed that the transferred pump price per litre, used by the NNPC in relation to PPMC, was under quoted as N123-N128 instead of N162-N165
He said that the fraudulent under-reporting of N37-N39 per litre, which translated into more than N70 billion a month, or N840 billion naira a year.
Ogun expressed worry that the consumption rate of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), was 40 million to 45million litres per day, adding that the NNPC used 65 million to 100 million litres per day.
This, he said was to determine subsidy as discoverable from NNPC monthly reports to the Federal Allocation Committee (FAAC).
According to him, the subsidy regime has been unscrupulously used by the NNPC and other critical stakeholders to subvert the nation’s crude oil revenue to the tune of more than 10 billion dollars.
Ogun said records showed that as at 2021, over seven billion dollars of 120 million barrels was diverted.
He also alleged that there was evidence that subsidy amounts were being duplicated.
The lawmaker added that subsidy was charged against petroleum products sales in the books of NNPC, as well as against crude oil revenue in the books of NAPIMS, to the tune of more than N2 trillion.
The Federal Government has threatened to sanction any fuel stations or depot selling above the stipulated approved pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The threat followed the persistent fuel scarcity being witnessed in the FCT and its environs as well as in other parts of the country.
Mr Farouk Ahmed, Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) gave the warning on Monday during a joint inspection on fuel stations in Abuja.
The exercise was carried out in collaboration with some top officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Petroleum Pipeline and Marketing Company (PPMC) and the NMDPRA.
He said the inspection aimed at taking action to enforce the regulations by following up warning given to the oil marketing companies, particularly those selling over the official price of N148 kobo.
He explained that the pump price of PMS was still N165 per litre and remained sacrosanct, adding that nothing had changed and government had not made any other decision on that.
He said it would take an action against defaulters because based on its engagement with the Depots and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) and Major Oil Marketers of Nigeria (MOMAN), they were warned against over price at the depot.
He said as a regulator, there were series of actions it could take which included withdrawal of service from a particular depot, shutting and sanctioning them because nobody was above the law and we must enforce the regulations.
According to him, the inspection has been an on-going exercise; the authority has seven teams going round in different locations while NNPC has its own teams going round in many locations with support from the security agencies.
“We are actually trying to monitor the dispensing to ensure that all the stations with petrol are dispensing all their trucks to reduce the long queues and ensure efficiency in service.
“We are monitoring the depot sales also, checking the number of truck that loaded; this is a serious fact which we look at.
“There has been a lot of improvement in the distribution of PMS, we have gone round the Airport road and saw a lot of stations selling and discharging fuel.
“The queues are not long like before and the average trucks we have received in Abuja in the last three days are about 140 trucks against 70 trucks to 80 trucks received before; so there is a lot of improvement.
“Credit also goes to transporters because now they are reacting to the President’s offer of additional N10 as an incentive on their transportation charges. At least we are seeing the improvement,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the upward review in freight rate of oil transporters to alleviate challenges associated with PMS distribution nationwide.
The revised freight rate of PMS took effect from June 1, still maintaining the current regulated pump price of N165 per litre.
Ahmed explained that the president in his wisdom increased the freight rate of transporters by N10 which was a huge jump from N10.46 kobo to additional N10 and now N20.46 kobo
Ahmed said this was just to show that the transporters could still transport the product across the nation without loss of revenue which they were complaining about.
On black marketers, he said it was engaging with key oil marketers and had advised them to warn their station managers to stop selling to Jerrican peddlers because it was one of the causes of the problems.
“Once they do not comply, we are going to shut and deal with that particular station affected,’’ he said.
Mr Adeyemi Adetunji, Group Executive Director, Downstream, NNPC Ltd. reassured Nigerians that there was adequate supply of fuel.
“Today we have 1.9 billion litres of PMS; Lagos is cleared in a couple of days; we will clear the queues in Abuja,’’ Adetunji added.
NAN reports that the fuel stations inspected were Shafa Energy, Shema, Ardova Plc. and NIPCO fuel stations on Lugbe – Airport Road.
Some of the motorists at the stations expressed excitement with the availability of fuel as against previous days and urged the government to sustain it to ease the queues and difficulties being witnessed.
The inspection also had in attendance Mr Isiyaku Abdullahi, Managing Director, PPMC, Mr Garbadeen Muhammad, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC Ltd. and Mrs Abdulkadir Maijiddah, Abuja Regional Coordinator, NMDPRA, among others.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) started it activities for the new week with words of commendation from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr Ogbonnaya Orji, stated at the first National Extractives Dialogue (NED) held in Abuja, that the NNPC Ltd. was now compliant with transparency regulations and that they had become more responsive to audit queries.
The event was co-hosted by NEITI and Spaces for Change (S4C), an indigenous civil society organisation, with support of the Ford Foundation.
It was designed to provide stakeholders in the extractive industry a platform to discuss the issues of contract transparency, extractive resources benefits sharing and energy transition in West Africa.
In his opening remarks, Orji said NIETI was proud to see that some of the legal reforms it clamoured for were now being implemented in the oil and gas industry with NNPC now more compliant than ever.
“In Nigeria, we have clamoured for reforms; we are proud to witness some of the legal reforms we clamoured for now taking place.”
He stated that the involvement of Spaces for Change in the programme was in line with NEITI’s objective of deepening engagements with credible civil society organisations.
Speaking at the event, the of NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said that the company had done so much to keep to the tenets of transparency in every area of its operations.
Kyari, who was represented by the Group General Manager, Governance, Risk & Compliance, Mr Chris Akamiro, said NNPC now implements audit recommendations and was keen on expanding the frontiers of its engagement, by reporting information on upstream costs and revenues.
He said that the ongoing transition to a limited liability company was aimed at repositioning the Company in line with global best practices and in preparation for energy transition.
Kyari stated that the natural resources from the extractive industries were only beneficial when they were extracted in a responsible and cost-effective manner, and the revenues accruing were promptly remitted to the coffers of government.
He said that the low performance of the industry in terms of profitability and contribution to the economy was due to opacity which he said prompted the call for action by stakeholders on the need for a more transparent and accountable industry.
The House of Representatives has queried the 2019, 49 million dollars contract for integrity test on Nigerian refineries awarded to Technimont company, by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Rep. Ganiyu Johnson, the chairman of the House ad hoc committee investigating the state of the refineries issued the query during a meeting with the company and NNPC officials on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson said that the company had failed to execute the contract properly as the state of the refineries were not verified.
He also blamed the NNPC for failing to undertake regular turn around maintenance on the refineries leading to their current poor state.
He asked the company and the NNPC to submit the contract documents, especially the approval by the Federal Executive Council and payment proofs including the level of work done to the committee for scrutiny.
Master Caleb Madu of Grundtvig International School, Oba in Anambra, on Wednesday, won the South-East zonal finals of the 2022 National Science Quiz Competition organised by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).Madu, 16-year-old SS2 student, scored 55 points followed by Master Ebenezer Obinna representing Imo with 45 points and Master Gracia Chima, representing Ebonyi with 40 points.Others are: Miss Nneoma Odo representing Enugu State who got 35 and Master Chukwuka Ugwumba, representing Abia got 10 points.The students were tested in five core science subjects that included: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English language.The representatives of the first three states – Anambra, Imo and Ebonyi – would proceed to the national finals in NNPC Towers in Abuja to represent the South-East zone.Speaking to newsmen shortly after the competition in Enugu, Madu said that he would work hard to become a Petroleum Engineer in the near future.He assured South-East people that he and his colleagues would make the zone proud at the finals at the national level.“I am going back to school to put in more serious study and hard work ahead of the national finals in Abuja,” he assured.Earlier, Mr Garba Muhammad, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC Ltd, said that over the years, NNPC had made intervention in the education and capacity development areas, a fulcrum of its approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).Muhammad, represented by Mrs Doris Ozoemena-Ohia, Manager, Community Impact Investment, noted that it had become imperative to groom a pool of highly trained youths who would be available to take up key positions in the company and in the Nigerian energy sector.He explained that the first stage of the competition covered the 774 local government areas of the country.”After competitions at the council area level, we moved to the state and now we are having the finals among the five South-East states.The Group General Manager said that with the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act in 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari, further impetus had been given to the NNPC to increase its positive impact in the lives of Nigerians.Speaking, Enugu State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uchenna Eze, lauded NNPC for promoting education especially science education and assisting science students and schools to further uplift the standard of science education in the country.Eze, who was represented by Mr Margaret Ayogu, Director of Science Education in the state, urged science teachers to take advantage of NNPC annual quiz competition to better the lot of their students and help them secure scholarships. (NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Association of Petroleum Marketers in Badagry, Lagos State, on Wednesday urged the federal government to declare its stand on pump price of petrol in the country.
Alhaji Abdul-Ganiyu Adelani, Chairman of the association, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Badagry that disparity in the price of loading at tank farms led to increase in the pump price of the product.
According to the chairman, while the filing stations of few major marketers are selling at N165, the independent marketers are selling between N190 and N200.
“Most of the major marketers are not having the products, making the motorists to queue up at filling stations of few independent marketers that are selling.
“If the government wants to increase the pump price of petroleum, they should announce it and make the product available so that marketers can get it.
“At the same time, if government is not increasing petrol price, they should make the product available so that filing stations will get it to sell.
“Throughout Badagry none of the filing stations of major marketers are selling petrol; it is only independent marketers’ filing stations that residents are buying from.
“The price is between N180 and N200 per litre,” he said.
NAN correspondant who went round filing stations in Badagry observed that queues had reduced as most of the filing stations were selling the product.
NAN also reports that petol is sold at N180 per litre at NNPC Mega Station in Itoga, Forte Oil and AP filing stations along Disu Joseph way, Badagry.
At Obinja filing station, God Decision and Ayomide filing stations, pump price is N190, while Royal Sunad and Jacos filing stations are selling at N200 per litre.
NAN reports that on Tuesday, the Federal Government said the fixed pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) remained N165 per litre as stipulated in the petroleum product pricing template.
This was made known by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd., and the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) after visiting jetties in Apapa, Lagos.
Mr Ugbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure, NMDPRA, maintained that petrol was a regulated product and urged marketers to comply with the pricing template.
The depots visited by the top officials of the agencies were NIPCO Depot and TotalEnergies Depot.
NAN had reported on Monday that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had advised its members to adjust the pump price of PMS to a minimum of N180 per litre.
The marketers had said the move was necessitated by the increment in the ex-depot price of PMS by some private depots where they were buying the product from.
The Federal Government says the fixed pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) remains N165 per litre as stipulated in the petroleum product pricing template.
The government also advised Nigerians against panic buying of PMS, also known as petrol, saying that the country currently had over 2 billion litres of PMS in various depots.
This was made known by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., and the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company after visiting jetties in Apapa, Lagos, on Tuesday.
The depots visited by the top officials of the agencies were NIPCO Depot and TotalEnergies Depot.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had on Monday advised its members to adjust the pump price of PMS to a minimum of N180 per litre.
The marketers had said the move was necessitated by the increment in the ex-depot price of PMS by some private depots where they were buying the product from.
However, Mr Ugbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure (NMDPRA) maintained that petrol was a regulated product and urged marketers to comply with the pricing template.
Ukoha said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had led to an increment in the cost of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel), which was a critical product used in transporting petroleum products from the depots to the retail outlets.
He said: “So, when we observed that this poses a big challenge in the movement of other products, we made the representation to the Minister of State for Petroleum and Mr President graciously approved that the freight rate for trucks be increased.
“There’s a N10 addition, which we will apply to the different routes to enable trucks to move to docks easily with less burden.
“With these kinds of efforts from government, we can only continue to appeal to operators within this industry to play by the rules.
“PMS is a regulated product and the prices are fixed. The ex-depot price is known. The pump price remains N165 and the authority is ever ready to enforce those rules.
“So, we will continue to urge Nigerians to keep within these operating rules.”
Ukoha said the focus of the stakeholders in the next few days would be to close the supply gaps and resolve the ongoing scarcity of petrol as soon as possible.
Also, Mr Adetunji Adeyemi, Group Executive Director, Downstream, NNPC Ltd., said the purpose of the visit to the depots was to get first hand information on the challenges responsible for the current scarcity.
Adeyemi said despite the challenges globally in terms of the supply chain, NNPC had continued to provide petroleum products, specifically PMS to Nigerians.
“Today we have about 2 billion litres of PMS in-country, which is about 34 days sufficiency. So, there is sufficient petrol in the country.
“We are working with the entire stakeholders and players in the downstream sector to ensure that this product gets to the distribution channels and also the stations.
“We want Nigerians to continue to enjoy free flow of petroleum products,” he said.
Mr Isiyaku Abdullahi, Managing Director, PPMC, said the company had been supporting transporters and marketers with diesel in form of palliative to ensure the smooth distribution of PMS and ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians.
Abdullahi said three vessels carrying about 60 metric tons of PMS were currently discharging at the Apapa jetty, which would be further transported to Lagos and other parts of the country to restore normalcy.
On their parts, Mr Suresh Kumar, Managing Director, NIPCO and Mr Ernest Umunna, Site Manager, TotalEnergies, assured Nigerians of product availability at their depots.
They also promised to carry out 24-hour trucking operations to ensure that the scarcity situation in Lagos was resolved within the next few days. (
The activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) for the new week started with a cheering news that the company would begin operation on July 1 as a limited liability company.
The operation as a limited liability company is under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and would commence upon the signing of the assets transfer documents by the Ministers of Petroleum and Finance the same day.
The development is in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Group Managing Director (GMD) Executive Officer (CEO) of NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said at an engagement session with business leaders across the company’s value chain in Abuja that they were working to comply with the provisions of the PIA.
He said NNPC is doing everything possible to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) with regards to guidelines and timelines for action.
Kyari said that the new company would become operational with the transfer of verified assets from the Corporation to the NNPC Ltd. by the Ministers of Petroleum and Finance.
He explained that with the level of assets available combined with the new fiscal regime, NNPC Ltd. was set to become the number one energy company in Africa, noting that global brands interested in doing business with the new NNPC Ltd. needed to be sure of the company’s asset base.
On the objective of the session, Kyari stated that it was organised to engage business leaders on issues of change management strategies required to achieve the new business realities as a limited liability entity.
He added that the success or otherwise of the company depends heavily on how the change is managed.
In his presentation, the Chairman of the NNPC PIA Implementation Team and Group Executive Director, Downstream, Mr Yemi Adetunji, said that all was set for the presidential unveiling of the NNPC Ltd., scheduled for July 19.OPEC Secretary-General, Dr Mohammad Barkindo
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