Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen
MINISTER of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has urged female members of Petroleum and Natural Gas Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to work hard in order to attain higher leadership positions in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
Tallen gave this advice at Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) Woman-in-PENGASSAN award ceremony in Abuja.
She said that women had all that it takes to be leaders in various organizations in the oil and gas sector and can head the DPR.
“I join my prayers with that of your founder that one day. We will see a woman heading the DPR.
“We are making giant strides and under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, we now have a woman in the governing council of the NNPC for the first time.
“And we have more women working in NNPC and the sector in general, I celebrate the pioneer president of this group for starting this group and heading it well, you see how it is growing and by the grace of God it will go places,” the minister said.
She praised PENGASSAN for its countless support to women and urged it to continue, as the role of women in nation building cannot be over emphasised.
According to Tallen, there is need for women to be supported and empowered.
She added that effort must be made to increase the number of women playing roles in the sector in Nigeria.
Mr Festus Osifo, The President of PENGSSAN, said that women had been contributing significantly to the development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
According to him, there is need for women to strive to do more as the sector remains strategic for the economic growth and development of the nation.
He expressed satisfaction with the current roles of women in the oil and gas sector adding that the National body of PENGASSAN would continue to support women to do more for the industry.
“Women have contributed greatly to the oil sector’s development, as they currently take charge of some oil firms as Chief Executive Officers.
“We have women across board of different oil companies, both private and public. The oil and gas sector is outpacing other agencies in terms of women inclusion in key positions.
“Can we do more? The answer clearly is yes we can. I want to see a situation whereby, if you take 20 oil and gas companies, you will see women leading about 50 per cent of them,” he said
Osifo further noted that, some areas in the sector might be difficult terrain for women like, oil operations, especially in exploration, where people may need to spend almost a month in the field.
“A woman may not want to go to the field to spend 28 days. A woman may not want to even spend 14 days, especially when she has a home to take care of.
“Women should be deployed to operations for them to visit once in a while,” Osifo said.
The convener, Mrs Obioma Uzoigwe, said that the award and occasion was necessary to honour women’s contribution in the oil and gas sector, as well as in national development.
She said that women in the oil and gas industry have supported a lot of people by empowering them in various ways, noting that women have been instrumental in training and fight against poverty in the country.
“Poverty will end, if you and I decide to help each another. The main focus is to stand up and empower women across the world,” she stated.
Some leaders in the industry were recognised for the various roles they played in nation building and development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
The awardees included Auwalu Sarki, Director of DPR, Simon Achuba, former deputy governor Kogi State, Abua Owan, DPR Branch Chairman, PENGASSAN, Hajiya Tijani, Minister of State for FCT and Wilkie Roselyn Tinuke, DPR Zonal Operations Controller, Abuja.
Others were Lilian Nkiru Ifondu, DPR Head Finance and Account, Bassey Dorothy, Former Head of Public Affairs Unit, DPR, and Ijeoma Onyeri, First Female Head, Downstream and Lady Ada Chukwudozie, Managing Director, Dozzy Oil & Gas Ltd.
Also, Dr Ihezuo Nkeiru, former Commissioner for Education, Gombe State, Nkechi Obi, Managing Director Techno Oil & Gas Ltd, Festus Osifo, President of PENGASSAN, Bello Garuba, former DPR Branch Chairman, Ikegwuonu Patricia, former DPR Branch Chairperson, WIP and Ruth Akali, former DPR Kaduna Zonal, WIP.