99 Million rural women to benefit from gas micro distribution
Determined to reduce deaths and climate change caused by the use of firewood as cooking fuel among others, the Federal Government has said it will open up micro gas distribution channels across all local councils.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, made this known, yesterday, at the official launch of the Nigerian Women for Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), organised by the National Centre for Women’s Development in partnership with Zigma Gas Limited and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in Abuja.
Sylva observed that it is a healthy alternative to firewood, as it is a clean source of energy that reduces greenhouse emissions.
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on LPG, Brenda Ataga, the minister said: “The ministry is targeting to ameliorate the energy challenge in Nigeria, and clean cooking gas is key in this regard, because 70 per cent greenhouse emissions are caused by deforestation. This LPG project will enable us to empower rural women to use a more cleaner source energy for cooking.”
On the need for women to take the opportunity and get into the oil and gas industry, Director General, National Centre for Women’s Development (NCWD), Barrister Mary Ekpere-Eta said 99 million women across households in all the local councils will benefit from the project within three years.
“This partnership will be of benefit to Nigerian women and youth, as it will support Federal Government’s effort in achieving its 2023 sustainable energy targets. The project is targeted at reaching 99 million women and households within three years, cutting across the 120 political units and 800 political wards across the 774 LGAs in the federation,” she said.
According to her, evidence has shown that the fear of LPG safety and refill stress, among others, are factors preventing the use, adoption and penetration of LPG for cooking by women in rural households.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon, has observed that the LPG project has presented a window of opportunity for Nigerian women to make impact in the oil industry.
He said: “Available statistics suggest that there are fewer women working in the oil, gas and energy value chain than almost any other major industry and they also account for less than one quarter of employees in the sector worldwide. This figure grows smaller the higher you climb up the ladder.”
Kallon, therefore, called on the government and other relevant actors in the sector to drive non-discriminatory employment practices, increase access to capacity building and engage women in community consultation and decisions for their active participation in the sector.
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zigma Gas limited, Dr. Funmi Ogbue, represented by Mr. Adeshina Olaitan, explained that the distribution change will create more than 700, 000 jobs for Nigerians.