By Mordi Chukwunonso
Margaret Okojokwu, representing Majorwaves Energy Report, alongside six other women have been admitted as founding members of the maiden Diversity Sectorial Working Group (SWG) of the Nigerian Content Consultative Forum, NCCF. The group was officially inaugurated by the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote in a virtual engagement meeting with members of the entire NCCF groups.
Other members of the newly created SWG include Alero Omosode of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Patricia Simon Hart of Aftrac Limited, Pricilla Thorpe-Monclus of Mrs Oil Limited, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo of Falcon Oil and Gas Corporation Limited, Michele Aiyegbusi of SLC Resources Limited, Nkechi Obi of Techno Oil Limited, Anita Okuribido of Similling Simon Limited and Oladunni Owo of Blackgold Authorities.
Inaugurating the Diversity SWG is part of the Board’s commitment which was made during the NCCF Retreat in 2019. It had also promised to set up special funding in support of women participation in the oil and gas industry.
The Executive Secretary stated that the creation of the diversity SWG was a product from the Women in Oil & Gas workshop organized by the Board in October 2019. He hinted that the aim of the group is to improve the participation of women in the industry as well as to promote all-inclusive gender policies. He reiterated that by mainstreaming women in the oil and gas industry the sector engender greater growth of the economy.
In his words, Wabote said: ”I am convinced that if we mainstream women in the oil and gas industry, we are going to achieve a lot.” Wabote announced that a portion of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) domiciled with the Bank of Industry will set aside to support women operating in the oil and gas industry. Stressing that section 57 and 58 of the NOGICD Act 2010 supported the creation of a robust platform for sharing information and to serve as ‘think-tank’ to develop policies and implement frameworks that will achieve sustainable development of the Nigerian content in oil sector, Wabote charged the members of the two newly created sectorial groups to be proactive and develop recommendations that the Board can implement.
Along with the Diversity group, the Executive Secretary inaugurated the Gas Value Chain SWG whose members include Lanre Runsewe from Rungas Industries Limited; Nuhu Yakubu, representing Nigeria LP Gas Association (NLPGA); Taji Ogbe, representing Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) and Bassey Essien, representing Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers. Other members are Frank Ibi from Nigeria Gas Company Limited (NGC); Charles Epelle from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas
Company (NLNG) and Mohammed Ahmed from the Nigeria Gas Marketing Company Limited. Giving reasons for the inauguration of the Gas Value Chain Group, the Executive Secretary stated that the Board believes that the future of fossil fuels is in maximizing gas development and utilization. He noted that Nigeria has about 203 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas reserves and recalled that the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva had at the beginning of the year declared 2020 as the Year of Gas. Prior to this, there had been 10 sectorial committees. They include; Information and Communication Technology, Education and Training, Engineering, Fabrication, Essential Services, Shipping and Logistics, Finance, Legal Services and Insurance, PETAN, Material and Manufacturing and Multinationals & Indigenous Producers.
The chairpersons for this groups include: Mr Attanda Deremi, Dr Mayowa Afe, Engr. George Okoyo, Dr Timi Austen-Peters, Mr Michael Oluwagbemi, Mr Mina Oforiokuma, Mr Robert Ade-Odiachi, Mr Matthew Oweleke, Chief Vassily Oye-Barberopoulas, and Mr Anthony Attah.
Margaret Okojokwu is the editor of Majorwaves Energy Report. She is a public speaker, a public relations practitioner and a marketing communications expert. Margaret is also a Mandela Washington Fellow with international exposures and multiple paper presentations at global events. As a social entrepreneur, she is passionate about local content development in relation to capacity building, human capital development, advocacy for resource host community relationship and conflict resolutions across Africa. She has over ten years of experience in the media industry and has largely focused on energy reporting.
The NCCF, is an integral part of the NCDMB established by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) ACT of 2010. It is set up to provide a robust platform for information sharing on upcoming projects and local capabilities relating to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.