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Women make up just 18% of employees in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, men constitute 82%

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ANALYSIS of employment data in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector has shown an uneven gender distribution as women make up just 18 per cent of the workforce.

Men, on the other hand, constitute 82 per cent of employees in the sector.

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Executive Secretary Simbi Wabote, at the close of a workshop organised for women in the oil and gas industry in 2019, promised to initiate policies that will increase the population of women in the oil and gas sector.


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However, the 2020 oil and gas industry report recently released by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has revealed gender imbalance in the country’s largest industry.

Of the 60 entities in the oil and gas industry that provided employment data for the 2020 audit, 18,712 employees were captured.

Out of the number, 15,266 were male, while just 3,446 were female.

According to NEITI, of the 18,712 total employees in the industry, 1,495 equating to eight per cent were on the top-level employment cadre in the industry; 9,475, making up 51 per cent, were middle level, while 7,742, approximately 41 per cent, were lower-level employees.

The ICIR had earlier reported how women play a less prominent role in the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries.

The report shows that out of 40 executive management positions in the petroleum industry, only 10 were occupied by women, signifying 25 per cent of total appointments.

The latest NEITI report has, however, shown that the trend of gender disparity in the oil and gas sector has continued unabated.

Infographics showing the summary of Occupational level of employees in the oil and gas sector
Infographics showing the summary of Occupational level of employees in the oil and gas sector
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Of 1,495 top employees in the industry, 300 are women, while the remaining 1,195 are men. The middle-class employees in the industry comprise 7,676 men and 1,799 women.

The lower level employment record shows that out of 7,742 employees, 6,395 are men while the remaining 1,347 are women.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) says more than half of the professionals in the oil and gas industry will reach retirement age in the next decade, a situation which it says poses a major threat to the industry.

The ILO advised on the need to employ more local workers and women as the solution to the looming skills shortage.

Infographics showing the summary of the nationality of employees in the oil and gas sector
Infographics showing the summary of the nationality of employees in the oil and gas sector

Out of a total of 15,266 employees in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, 16,493 are local staff from host communities, 1,753 are non-locals, while 466 are expatriates.

Research by McKinsey revealed that companies that have a significant share of women leaders perform better than their peers.

McKinsey, however, advised companies in the oil and gas sector to attract more women to fill their ageing workforce.

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“What we found was that at a time when the need for new types of talent is great and the competition for it intense, oil and gas companies are failing to retain many of the comparatively few women they attract in the first place.

“Half of the 250 oil and gas companies we surveyed don’t have a single woman in top management; another third have only one.”

Author profile

'Niyi works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via noyedeji@icirnigeria.org. You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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