FG urges women to take advantage of mining space opportunities

The Federal Government has called on Nigerian women to take advantage of the opportunities available in the mining value chain for their empowerment

Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Senator Gbemisola Saraki made the call in Abuja during her keynote address at the opening of a high-level national summit on women in the mining industry in Abuja.

Saraki, who was represented by Director of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, Patrick Ojeka, revealed that, in line with global practices, the federal government has developed initiatives, policies and programs aimed at integrating the gender and creating an enabling environment for men. and women to benefit from the rich potential of the sector.

Saraki said, “We must not forget that the government since 2018 has mainstreamed gender into its operations by ensuring that its laws, policies and programs are not devoid of gender sensitivity.

“Gender mainstreaming has been adopted internationally as a strategy to achieve gender equality. Our goal is therefore to ensure that men and women have equal opportunities or benefits in the sector.

“Nevertheless, government alone cannot do this; this is why the effort of Women in Mining in Nigeria is to be applauded,” the minister said.

Saraki further stated that apart from some of the peripheral jobs that women do today to earn a living in mining, very few own their own site as it is capital intensive and many women in Nigeria do not have personal resources or lack resources. access to bank loans as they have no collateral for this.

The minister therefore urged women to always strive with personal efforts to invest in mineral exploration as well in order to have reliable data, adding that only then would banks be willing to provide support in the form of loans.

Earlier, WIMIN National Chairperson, Engr Janet Adeyemi highlighted that the high-level policy dialogue was the culmination of a year-long program titled “Mainstreaming Gender and Gender Justice in the Minerals Sector strengths of Nigeria”.

Adeyemi also said that it was designed and implemented by Women In Mining In Nigeria and funded by OSIWA and the Ford Foundation, and that five states were captured as the base for implementing the program whose WIMIN chapters were all represented at the event.

She listed states as Taraba in the northwest, Plateau in the north-central, Osun in the southwest, Ebonyi in the southeast and Edo in the south-south.

“During each phase of the project in the states, WIMIN management made advocacy visits to key state actors in each state where it was implemented for commitment on gender inclusion in the policies and programs of the State and of all the States have made their commitments”.

Describing the various achievements recorded by WIMIN so far, the Chief Advocate for Women in Mining expressed her delight that with the increased awareness, many women are interested in mining to the extent where the organization now has over 3,000 members and still counts.

“Today WIMIN has over 3,000 members in Nigeria and the numbers are growing rapidly. We have established our state chapters in 5 geo-political zones in Nigeria”.

“WIMIN has been incorporated into the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development as a recognized organization for women’s rights in mining”.