The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the state government is reviewing its policies in the state’s mining sector to create opportunities for more women to participate and operate profitable businesses in the sector.
The governor said this during a policy dialogue organized in Benin City, by the Women in Mining Nigeria in collaboration with Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), with support from Ford Foundation.
Represented by the Commissioner for Mining, Oil and Gas, Honourable Ethan Uzamere, Governor Obaseki said the government is building capacity of female participants in the sector, adding that the state is committed to ensuring gender equality.
He stressed that with key positions in his administration occupied by women, it was evident that women have capacities which must be encouraged and promoted.
According to him, “We are going through some reforms in terms of policies to help the state participate in developing the mining sector. The mining sector is on the exclusive list of the Federal Government. But we are trying to do something different through the Ministry of Mining, Gas and Oil. We are in the policy planning stage at the moment. We are willing to partner with Women in Mining in order for the female gender to gain from the industry.”
Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs. Maria Edeko said women are the worst hit by the insecurity challenge in the country as their farms, businesses and children are the targets.
She advocated for policies that will protect the women as they engage in hazardous jobs in the mining industry as well as other sectors.
Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi noted that mining and agriculture are key priority areas for Edo State, hence the need for women to play actively in the space.
He said the governor is keen on making Edo State a mining hub while formalising artisanal and small-scale miners by encouraging international best practices.
“We want to be able to attract more investors into the mining sector. Quality impact investors are being scouted and we want women to take their rightful position in that space,” he noted.