The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Waltersmith Petroman weekend emerged the two of the leading institutions recognized and celebrated for promoting gender diversity in the Nigerian petroleum industry, earning themselves the rare awards from the foremost Nigerian gender capacity advocacy group, Women in Energy Network (WIEN).
In its premier end of year party and award night where it rolled out about 17 awards to corporate organizations and individuals for optimizing the full potentials and capacity of women in driving national economic and social development, WIEN named the NCDMB as the Most Gender Inclusive Agency in 2022.
The group also awarded Waltersmith Petroman the Best Workplace for Women in 2022.
The event which was hosted at La Scala Restaurant, Ikoyi, provided forum for induction of new members in a fun-filled party during which the President of WIEN, Mrs Funmi Ogbue, charged all members of the group to be standard bearers and compliance custodians in their different roles and places of work.
She threw the challenge of industry performance excellence at the ladies who included investors, Chief Executive Officers, senior management personnel and other women who have taken career in the energy industry.
In her remarks at the occasion, Mrs Ogbue expressed delight and pride in the role of WIEN members and partners in leveraging the platforms and advocacies propounded by the group in driving innovation and supporting the growth of the energy industry and the country.
“Our members are thriving and triumphing in all sectors of our industry and also in government agencies,” she declared, adding that “our members are literally powering the industry in all spheres.”
Mr Ogbue said WIEN members have become part of the critical industry community investing in technological innovations, supplier diversity initiatives and workforce development.
In pointing at the contributions of WIEN in the year, she pointed at the group’s strident voices in the global debate on energy transition. She restated the group’s demand for alternative industry funding, just environment and social governance (ESG) implementation, enhanced capital importation and strategic partnerships.
She also noted that the group also participated actively in the proffering solutions to local operating challenges, including the security of industry assets. She repeated WIEN’s calls for full gas commercialization under the prevailing Decade of Gas programme.
Mrs Ogbue ran down the list of the group’s activities in the year and expressed satisfaction at the level of progress recorded in the period.
“During the year 2022 we lent our voice to advocacy around the Just Transition, a bottom up approach to the development and tracking of ESG standards, alternative thinking around the funding constraints in the industry and a call for partnering with symbiotic investors such as Africa focused DFI’s and traders that benefit from the industry thriving. We also joined hands with stakeholders to proffer solutions to pipeline vandalism and a call for gas commercialization under the decade of Gas platform,” she reiterated.
Within the year, she noted, WIEN earned sponsorship from Power Africa and the United States Aid for International Development (USAID) to develop its sustainability plans and set its goals.
She added that the group embarked on facility tours and power meetings to about eight companies and organizations to deepen engagements with corporate entities on the urgent need to develop and deploy the nation’s untapped female genius.
In driving its advocacy for gender balancing at the governance level of corporate organizations, Mrs Ogbue stressed, WIEN has brought its influence on the Nigerian corporate community to allow space for qualified women to take befitting positions in their managements and boards. This, she said, has enabled women to take slots and make difference in corporate governance.
She called for excellence and diligence in delivering roles assigned to all members of the group, adding that all industry rules and standards under the custody WIEN members must exceed expectations.
“It is critical that WIEN pushes to be a thought leader and conscience of the industry and maintains unified voice for environmental and safety standards. This role comes naturally to us and we should be able to find our voice in this regard,” she charged members.
On educating women for the workforce of the future, Mrs Ogbue pointed at two critical programmes driven by the group to groom and grow female professionals for the industry.
She stated that WIEN Academy’s partnership with the Institute of Directors (IOD) continues to grow while a pilot programme for the group’s signature Supernova Girl project received a fillip at Bille Kingdom, Rivers State, where 16 girls were chosen for secondary and tertiary scholarship to study science and mathematics based courses.
“The Bille Supernova Girl was conducted as a pilot for our programme for building the pipeline of the future. We identified through a rigorous testing process 16 children which we aim to support through their secondary and tertiary education. By providing STEM training at an early age, students are exposed to an industry filled with amazing opportunities for future careers in the field,” she briefed members.
Mrs Ogbue restated the determination of the group to provide a veritable platform for knowledge and information sharing, which she said would provide individual and corporate members business intelligence, investment and human development opportunities.
In setting agenda for 2023, Mrs Ogbue informed members that “we have a seat at the table, a role to play in the energy industry, and need to foster critical alliances with key stakeholders. We need to make it count and pull others up and in because together we will go far.”
Event host, Mrs Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, stated that the WIEN End of Year Party and Award Night event was conceived to celebrate, inspire and fire up women of outstanding achievements in the energy industry. She explained that the key objective was to harness and deploy the female capacity towards enhanced national development.
The event, according to her, would become one of the key components of WIEN’s annual programme of activities. And the awards, she explained, were outcomes of industry nominations and anonymous voting.
In rolling out awards the group which houses female investors, professionals and other players in the energy industry said the NCDMB emerged the most inclusive agency under the Winning with Women category. It also celebrated and awarded Waltersmith Petroman the best workplace for women in 2022.
Interestingly, the managing Director of Waltersmith, Mr Chike Nwosu, also won the WIEN Gender Advocate of the Year under the group’s Winning with Women award category.
The NCDMB has a diversity sectoral working group in its Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF). The agency which promotes use of indigenous and local resources in driving industrial productivity in the oil and gas sector is in partnership with financial institutions to provide low cost credit lines for female entrepreneurs in the energy industry.
The coincidence of the awards for both the NCDMB and Waltersmith, it was learnt, gave no consideration to the joint venture partnership between the two institutions which are currently collaborating on Nigeria’s midstream oil and gas processing capacity recovery through the operated Ibigwe Refinery and Central Processing Facility.
Other notable industry icons that earned awards of the group include the Managing Director of Zigma Limited, Mrs Funmi Ogbue; erstwhile President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) and Managing Director of Falcon Corporation Limited, Mrs Audrey Ezigbo; Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO), Mrs Elohor Aiboni; and Managing Director of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) Limited, Mrs Sanda Tinuade, amongst others.