Minister of Women’s Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen urged women members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to work hard and take on the highest leadership positions in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
Tallen made this known at the first Woman-in-PENGASSAN Award ceremony of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Abuja.
She said women have what it takes to be leaders in various organizations in the sector and can lead the DPR.
“I join my prayers with those of your founder on this day. We will see a woman leading the DPR.
“We are advancing in leaps and bounds and under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, we have for the first time a woman on the board of the NNPC.
“And we have more women working in the NNPC and the sector in general, I congratulate the pioneer president of this group for starting this group and leading it well, you see how it is growing and by the grace of God it will go everywhere, ” she said
She commended PENGASSAN for its strong support to women and urged it to continue as the role of women in nation-building cannot be overstated.
According to her, it is necessary that women are supported and empowered.
She added that efforts should be made to increase the number of women playing roles in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
PENGSSAN President Mr Festus Osifo said women have contributed significantly to the development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria
According to him, women must strive to do more because the sector remains strategic for the economic growth and development of the nation.
He expressed satisfaction with the current role of women in the oil and gas sector, adding that the national body of PENGASSAN would continue to help women do more for the industry.
“Women have greatly contributed to the development of the oil sector, as they currently take charge of some oil companies as CEOs.
“We have women at all levels of different oil companies, both private and public. The oil and gas sector outperforms other agencies in terms of including women in key positions.
“Can we do more? The answer is clearly yes, we can. I want to see a situation where if you take 20 oil and gas companies, you will see women running about 50% of them, ”he said.
Osifo further noted that some areas of the sector could be difficult terrain for women, such as oil operations, especially in exploration, where people may need to spend nearly a month in the field.
“A woman may not want to go into the field to spend 28 days. A woman may not even want to spend 14 days, especially when she has a house to take care of.
“Women should be deployed in operations so that they can surrender from time to time,” he said.
In addition, the organizer, Ms Obioma Uzoigwe, said the award and the opportunity were necessary to honour the contribution of women in the oil and gas sector, as well as in national development.
She said that women in the oil and gas industry have supported many people by empowering them in various ways.
She noted that women have played a key role in training and poverty alleviation in the country.
“Poverty will end if you and I decide to help each other. The main goal is to stand up and empower women across the world, ”she said.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that some industry leaders have been recognized for the various roles they have played in nation-building and the development of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
The winners included Auwalu Sarki, Director, DPR, Simon Achuba, Former Deputy Governor Kogi, Abua Owan, President of the DPR Branch, PENGASSAN, Hajiya Tijani, Minister of State for the CTF and Wilkie Roselyn Tinuke, Controller of Operations of DPR zone, Abuja.
Others were Lilian Nkiru Ifondu, Chief Financial and Accounts Officer of the DPR, Bassey Dorothy, Former Head of Public Affairs Unit, DPR, and Ijeoma Onyeri, First Female Chief, Downstream and Lady Ada Chukwudozie, Chief Executive Officer, Dozzy Oil & Gas Ltd.
Also, Dr Ihezuo Nkeiru, Former Education Commissioner, Gombe State, Nkechi Obi, Managing Director of Techno Oil & Gas Ltd, Festus Osifo, President of PENGASSAN, Bello Garuba, Former President of DPR Branch, Ikegwuonu Patricia, former branch president DPR, WIP and Ruth Akali, former DPR Kaduna Zonal, WIP (NAN)