Women groups including NGOs and individuals are taking advantage of the capacity-building programme and internship slots at the Minerals and Miners Centre (MMC) in Nigeria.
The Country Director of the Centre, Dr. Comfort Asokoro-Ogaji, at the weekend, said the MMC is reaching-out to women applicants in diverse fields to enroll for its ongoing internship programmes scheduled to take-off in Nigeria in a few weeks.
According to the Country Director, “expertise gaps have been identified as the significant stumbling block to progress in the solid minerals sector,” adding that the gaps have become a major disadvantage for both men and women operating in the sector.
She stated: ”There is know-how deficit in both technical and non technical angles to the solid minerals business. Capacity is needed in management, administration, Information Technology, Statistics, Data Science and Trade Standards among others.”
According to the expert, “major technical capabilities can be improved upon for efficient and effective exploration, beneficiation, and other expert components that should make mining economically viable for all stakeholders including government at various levels, private sector and host communities.”
While noting that there should be continuous professional development of experts in government and the private sector, she pointed out that capacity development is key to sustaining growth in a highly technical sector as the solid minerals, adding that there is need to prioritize capacity development in order to realize set goals for the sector.
“The difference between success and failure is in knowledge and applicability of same,” she added.
“This is our way of contributing to the sector regarding training and building the capacity of women and youths to learn about mineral processing, gemstones tumbling, cutting, polishing and faceting, among other skills they will learn.”
Dr. Asokoro-Ogaji encouraged women in the fields of geology, chemical engineering, mining engineering, gemology, civil and mechanical engineering to enroll for the internship, adding that non mining experts such as business administrators, accountants, IT experts, procurement consultants, tax consultants, environmental consultants and project managers who are capable of providing services to the mining sector are also encouraged to join the internship program.
She disclosed that the MMC has identified some institutions to work with in Nigeria, adding that the Centre aims to harness the potential of sector to boost income and purchasing power of women and men alike.
Asokoro-Ogaji, an environmentalist and a chemist, said the Center will continue to promote responsible mining standards that safeguard the environment, the communities and it’s people. She explained that capacity strengthening begins at individual levels, develops to organizational levels and then to societal levels, noting that all levels are crucial for growth.
“This agenda underpins the vision of MMC to strengthen production, trade, technical knowledge and social linkages in the solid minerals sector in Nigeria,” adding that it will, by the grace of God, lead to greater wealth creation and ownership by Nigerians.