The Oyo state government has said that its partnering with the federal government to empower women engaged in mining activities across the state as part of plans by the government to diversify from crude oil to other economic activities in the country.
The government said the programme is also been extended to other states in the South-West .
It therefore urged women miners to form a registered association with the government in order to streamline and coordinate their activities as this will enhance government support.
The state governor Abiola Ajimobi stated this yesterday while delivering his speech at the South-West chapter of Women in Mining in Nigeria (WIMN) Workshop, held at the Conference Room, Federal Secretariat, Ibadan.
The governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Solid Minerals; and the Chairman, Mineral Resources Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Hon. Mathew Oyedokun stressed that efforts of women in mining in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized most especially now that the country is moving away from crude oil to agriculture.
He added that government may not recognize individual but would recognize a group and the only way such can be achieved is for them to form a registered group which can also help them to solve problems emanating from their day-to-day activities.
The governor pointed out that government at the state level has little control over mining sector, saying that government at the federal level has a higher control and could help them as a group.
He called on government at all levels to make empowerment of women a priority as this is the only tool for the development of the nation.
In his remarks, the Zonal Director, Federal Ministry of Mines, South-West, Engr. Danatus Umaru commended women in mining for contributing their quota in developing the nation as well as providing livelihood for their family.
He stressed that the only way Government can help them in the sector is for them to be in a group as this will strengthen them.
Engr. Umaru then advised them to be using safety equipments always when they are at work.
Earlier in her welcome address, the President, Women in Mining in Nigeria (NIMN) Hon. Janet Adeyemi, pointed out that the essence of the workshop was to empower and reposition women in the mining sector as well as to enlighten them on the need to come together for government’s assistance, stressing that over the years, women in mining sector died ignorantly as a result of low knowledge of hazard in the sector.
He added that after the workshop, they will be enlightened and do things right to safeguard their lives.
She noted that gone are the days when Nigerian government depended solely on crude oil but now everybody has realized that there is money in agriculture.
Hon Adeyemi therefore called on government to provide opportunities for women through affirmative policies to accommodate, promote and deepen women participation in the sector through easier access to mining titles, encourage the promotion of women and children wellbeing and livelihood, since WIMIN as an association focuses on miners, and those living in mining communities and their children.
She however urged government donor agencies to support WIMIN in building capacities of these men and women in critical areas as health and education to foster growth, overall development and sustainability of the mining sector for a holistic growth of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Mrs Foluke Ademokun commended government at all levels for encouraging women participation in agriculture adding that women will do more if they were encouraged by rendering succor.