OrderPaper Today- Deputy chief whip of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (PDP, Abia), has called for a review of Oil and Gas laws in the country to ensure gender balance in the industry.
The only female principal officer of the House made the demand on Wednesday when she received a delegation of female members of the National Women in Petroleum and Natural Gas Staff Association of Nigeria(NWIP) at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
She said the oil, gas, and mining extractive industries has been historically male-dominated from the leadership roles in major corporations to jobs in mines and oil rigs.
“If there is anything you want us (lawmakers) to do to change your condition in the industry, we will do. We will amend the relevant oil and gas industry laws to endure equality in the sector,” she assured.
Also present during the visit was the deputy majority leader of the House, Mr. Peter Akpatason (APC, Edo), a former labour union member, who commended women for their doggedness and excellence in the oil and gas sector and promised on behalf of the leadership of the 9th House of Representatives to push for legislation that will improve their well-being.
Earlier, Comrade Evelyn Amaka Ijeoma, leader of the National Women in Pengassan (NWIP), lamented a massive retrenchment of women from the industry and their replacement with men.
She called on the lawmakers to bring legislation and policies that will protect women in the industry “because the rate of discrimination against women is high in the industry.”
Ijeoma added that even though they are as competent professionally as the men and in some cases, better qualified, they have continued to face discrimination.
Representing a small percent of employees in the oil and gas sector, women account for a significantly smaller share of the workforce than they do in any other sector. This is worrisome for the National Women in Pengassan who are now calling on the legislature to nip it in the bud.