The sterling strive of Nigerian women in the mining sector of the nation’s economy is the subject of a new monograph that the Natural Resources and Extractive Programme (NAREP) of the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) is set to launch on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
The monograph features interviews with eight leading women investors in the mining sector, shedding light on current issues and drawing attention to how government policies, planning and actions constrain or advance the fortunes of women in the Nigerian mining sector.
In her foreword to the monograph, the Programme Director of PTCIJ, Oluwatosin Alagbe, said: “this monograph attempts to plug some of the crucial information gaps in the mining sector, as it concerns the issue of gender representation, the significant roles being played by women in the mining sector, and how their various endeavours are leading to leaps in the growth of the solid minerals sector, its entire value chain, and certainly the wealth of nations.
“One of the urgent needs in the mining industry is how to make it more safe and inclusive for women. For us, at PTCIJ, an interesting entry point is the documentation of the efforts of a growing breed of women, who are creating their own spaces within a sector not considered as readily open to them,” she added.
But the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, who described the publication as “incredibly important, as it highlights the achievements of pioneers and leaders in the Nigerian mining industry, who have carved a niche and paved the way for younger women to excel and thrive in the sector” thought the publication highlights the successes and influence of women in mining and suggested that “it would avail younger generations of Nigerian women the endless possibilities.”
Claire Ireland, Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, whose office provided support for the production of the document, described the document as important publication, adding that “It showcases female role models in the industry for other women to emulate. It also contributes a wealth of advice, ideas and energy to discussions around developing the Nigerian mining sector.”
Ms Ireland noted that “Nigeria has an opportunity to learn lessons from other countries and ensure its mining industry is developed in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable manner.”
She called for an “Inclusive economic development” in the mining sector “right now, while the industry is still young,” stressing that “Nigeria should strive for equal gender representation in its mining sector.”
She concluded that ensuring gender balance in the society starts with education and that publications such as this monograph that promote female role models are crucial in inspiring women and girls to take the “less-travelled path when they can see
people who look like them at the far end.”
PTCIJ is a media innovation and development organisation. Its NAREP was set up to build and strengthen the capacity of media to report the extractives sector with professionalism, depth and insight. As it has successfully done in health and is currently doing in the agriculture sector, the centre’s overarching vision is to enable Nigerian journalism to produce a consequential change in line with the democratic and developmental aspirations of citizens, the market and the country.