The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has announced plans to set a minimum percentage of females that must be included in any human capacity development (HCD) programme or initiative that it will approve for the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.
According to the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi KesiyeWabote, the $40 million Women in Energy Fund was set up in partnership with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank).
So far, he said 15 applications have been received and three have been approved and the disbursement of funds would soon start.
He added that the online portal for the fund was launched two weeks ago, and this would speed up the process and reduce human interface in the application and processing.
He commended the performance of women in various roles in the oil and gas industry and canvassed for their inclusion 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.
Speaking further, the NCDMB boss confirmed that the Oil and Gas Industrial Parks in Bayelsa State and Cross River state are getting ready for completion and will commence operations next year.
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 as they will be given special consideration as part of the Board’s commitment to mainstream women into the oil and gas industry.
Providing an update on the administration of the Women in Energy Fund, the Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Mr. Abba Bello explained that applicants would need to meet set criteria before they can access the fund. “It is a loan and not a grant and applicants have to meet the conditions, so we can achieve the intended purpose,” he said. Represented by the Head Specialised Products at the Bank, Mr. Mohammed Aumiz, the NEXIM Bank boss explained that it takes only 22 days for an application to be processed and an offer letter issued if the company met the criteria.