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FG launches Gender Strategy,prioritises equity in mining and steel sector

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By Victoria Onehi

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has unveiled  the gender strategy for the Nigerian Mining and Steel sectors, as a pioneering initiative to foster diversity, empowering women and enhancing the overall sustainability of the mining sector.

Speaking at a dual-pronged occasion recently, which also marked the launch of the Women In Mining In Nigeria WIMIN strategy, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake asserted that President  Bola Ahmed  Tinubu led administration prioritised gender equity and female participation in its “Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Industry”. 

”We believe that promoting gender equality is both a moral and strategic decision that will drive innovation, enhance productivity and contribute to the sustainable development of our nation. We encourage our stakeholders to also entrench gender equality in their organisations.

“As we gather here, we recognise the indispensable contributions of women to the success and sustainability of the mining sector role, thereby shaping our nation’s development. Their talents, expertise and perspectives are also essential to the success and growth of the mining industry”; the Minister added.

With a retrospective assessment of the biases and inequalities against women in the sector, Dr Alake in a statement by Head Information and Public Relations of the Ministry,Alaba Balogun, posited that the present administration has demonstrated unwavering commitment to foster diversity and empower women by implementing its roadmap initiative. 

”As part of efforts of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and Ministry of Steel Development, to implement this roadmap initiative, the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) engaged a consultancy firm, N & G Consulting Firm Ltd, to develop the gender strategy”, Dr Alake stated .

To this end, as an affirmative and clarion call to action, the Minister declared: ” In line with the strategy objectives, which are firmly rooted in the principles of equality, diversity, and empowerment, in both Ministries, we are committed to increasing women’s participation in leadership and governance roles within the mining sector and communties”.

In her address at the unveiling ceremony, the National President, Women In Mining In Nigeria (WIMIN); Engineer Mrs Janet Adeyemi, represented by the National Secretary, Emily Ofodile, stated  that the launching of the Gender Strategy serves as a beacon of hope – a rallying cry for collective action and solidarity. “It is a platform to disseminate these transformative strategies, mobilise stakeholders, and ignite a movement towards meaningful change”. She said.

The Permanent Secretary Ministries of Solid Minerals Development and Steel Development, Dr Mary Ogbe admonished industry players to remain steadfast in their resolve to implement the gender strategy” effectively, ensuring a mining sector that is equitable and inclusive.

Commenting,  Project Coordinator MinDiver, Engineer Sellim Salam, highlighted the importance of engaging a Consultancy firm to do a gender study and map out a strategy that will uplift the benefits and mainstreaming of women in the sector.

The unveiling ceremony also witnessed a revealing  presentation by the N & G Consulting Firm Ltd as well as several goodwill messages from various organisations.

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