The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite says equal opportunities are open to women to pursue democratic dividends of the mining sector which are being dished out by the Buhari administration, stating that the ministry is poised to strengthen its policy and legal framework to encourage greater participation of women in the industry.
The minister, who made the disclosure in his keynote address during the 2022 International Women’s Day Symposium and the Launch of “Girls for Mining Society,” organized by the Women in Mining, Nigeria, held in Abuja on Tuesday.
The minister, who was represented by Dr. Vivian Okono, Director in the Ministry, stated that the Ministry is committed towards structuring a healthy industry that will help strengthen the voice of women and reduce gender inequality.
The minister noted that despite the challenges faced by women in the male dominated industry, and the limited number of women in artisanal and small scale mining, Nigerian women is stepping out of the stereotype to attain better gender balance in the sector.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, noted that the Launch of the “Girls for Mining” (G4M) initiative by Women in Mining, Nigeria, will ensure sustainability in the industry, saying, “this initiative will get the young girls in our Secondary Schools interested in Mining”.
He urged young girls to join the Mining Club in their schools. According to Ogah, “the future of the world is based on mining; mining would be the key driver of every economy.” He enjoined the girls to take interest in studying courses related to mining for the development of the sector. He also tasked women in the industry to upscale themselves so as to meet up with the men in order to unlock the great potentials that abound in the sector.
Dr. Ogah, who unveiled the G4M Logo, congratulated Women in Mining for the launch and assured of the Ministry’s support to address the bias of women inequality in the sector for the growth of the industry.
President, Women in Mining, Engr. Janet Adeyemi, said Year 2022 commemoration of International Day of Women is unique in that it witness the birth of the “Girls for Mining” (G4M) initiative. She explained that the club will embrace young girls in Secondary and Tertiary Institutions and bring them into close interaction with Women in Mining for mentorship towards a career in mining for young girls.
She noted that the G4M Club will help stimulate the girls’ interest and create a pipeline of knowledge and opportunities for them as well as supply more females into the mining sector and significantly upscale the 6.8 percent of female miners among the myriads of men in the sector.
Patrick Ojeka, Director Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Department of the Ministry, while disclosing that Women in Mining has become a strong voice since its inauguration, noted that the Launch of the G4M would sensitize the girl-child towards having technical proficiencies needed in the field of mining.
He advised women in the Industry to stop crying, but rise up to take their positions in the scheme of affairs.