The aviation sector has been said to have suffered some setbacks in its operations, activities and otherwise as a result of the low percentage of engagement of women in the industry.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA Mr Matthew Pwajok who spoke at the SheEngineer 30% Club Launch/Award sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Speaking during the SheEngineer 30% Club Launch/Award held in Lagos with the theme, “Integration and Implementation of gender-sensitive policies in the workplace”, Pwajok disclosed that, although the aviation sector has supported the nation’s GDP with over 241,000 jobs, lamented that only about 13percent of jobs in aviation are held by women.
According to him, the aviation industry is grappling with methods to improve inclusion and diversity. The majority of aircraft pilots, Air traffic Engineers, flight engineers, Air traffic controllers and aviation administrators in Nigeria are male. Adding that, the executive side has not fared any better as only 3 per cent of managerial and executive positions are held by women.
“While there is a consensus amongst stakeholders that the aviation sector would deeply benefit from gender diversity and inclusion, there is however no agreement on the best strategy to attain this.
“In recent years, organizations including the International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched initiatives such as the IATA 25 by 2025 gender diversity initiative, a voluntary initiative for the aviation sector to improve female representation in the industry.
“The campaign was to serve as an initial step to making the aviation industry more gender-balanced. It also seeks to create opportunities for more women with sought-after aviation technical and policy qualifications and experience in the aviation sector across the globe.
“The International Civil Aviation Organization in 2021, in a bid to encourage women in aviation, announced a 50 per cent discount on various aviation courses and certifications for women.
“The announcement was in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development founded by the United Nations.
“Although progress has been made, it, however, seems slow, and thus, stakeholders in the aviation industry should be encouraged to do more in promoting gender diversity and inclusion.
“This is one reason; the SheEngineer 30% Club is a welcome development. The 30 by 30 Strategy for achieving this laudable objective encompasses the four phases (RWPK) of Reach Out, Welcome In, Pull Through, and Keep Going”, he said.
In her welcome address, Engineer Elizabeth Eterigho, FNSE, FNSChE, President, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, said, the essence of the She-Engineer 30 per cent Club is to create a platform of an enabling environment for better productivity for women.
“The SheEngineer 30% club is a project that seeks to build a voluntary network of professional engineering institutions, engineering businesses and organizations committed to achieving a 30% minimum gender balance within their workforce by 2030 using the aviation, automobile and energy sectors where there is a noticeable shortage of females as pilot engineering organizations. Gender-sensitive policies in the workplace are key to creating a safe and respectful work environment.
“With women making up about 50 per cent of the world’s population and contributing significantly to global GDP (gross domestic product), their participation in leadership roles is crucial to achieving sustainable development goals” , she said.
In her contribution, Dr Evi Viza, Programme Leader, MSC Quality Management University of West of Scotland who commended the initiative urged policymakers and more organizations to sign a pledge to join the She-Engineer 30% club.
According to her, it will make business sense and it is one of the best investments they will make in their business and their country.
“There is a new dawn for the engineering sector, the country and the world. This initiative has opened an insight into the challenges women engineers face in Nigeria as well as everywhere in the world.
“The 30% club addresses a gap that it has been there for years and aims to change the way business operates, what society expects and all in the name to transform organizations to be productive, resilient and bring economic prosperity to their communities”, she said.
During her Concept Note presentation for the SheEngineer 30% Club Project, Grant Awardee, Engr., Felicia Agubata, FNSE disclosed that SheEngineer 30% Club, is a Royal Academy of Engineering UK-funded Initiative, to build a voluntary network of professional engineering institutions, engineering businesses and organizations in the aviation, automotive and energy sectors in Lagos State committed to achieving a 30% minimum gender balance within their workforce by 2030 using a 30 by 30 strategy.
According to her, the project would improve diversity and inclusion in these organizations and drive profitability, productivity, and creativity and reduce skill shortage by encouraging more girls to take up engineering courses and careers.
“This project seeks to address the existence of gender barriers in accessing engineering as a career is a concrete challenge in the educational development of Nigeria. A record shows that over 5.5m girls are out of school in Nigeria.
“There are more males in the universities studying engineering than women, who are predominantly in the non-scientific and non-technical disciplines. This has resulted in a wide gender gap in engineering courses.
“Women are largely underrepresented in the engineering sector in Nigeria and professional women engineers have been known to suffer discrimination at work, and also the apparent lack of interest in engineering by young girls has resulted in shortages of engineers in Nigeria. This situation has led to capital flight and brain drain for Nigeria.
“We want girls to see STEM subjects as being “non-Gendered” and want to be able to help them pursue whatever interests excite them because the jobs in the future are either in the STEM industries or require STEM skills.
SheEngineer 30% Club will be carrying out some activities within six (6) months of programme commencement in Aerospace, Automotive and Renewable Energy sectors organizations in Lagos.
In her lecture, Managing Director, of Ikeja Electric, Folake Soetan who spoke on “Creating a More Inclusive Workplace: Gender-Sensitive Policies and Practices said, the benefits of inclusive diversity include increased talent retention, better brand reputation, increased acceptance, and improved financial performance.
Also noted that creating a gender-sensitive workplace recognizes and addresses the needs, issues, and viewpoints that are unique to each gender. “In such environments, gender diversity is acknowledged and celebrated, and harassment and discrimination based on gender are actively addressed and avoided”, she said.
FCCPC to summon Erisco Foods over Chioma Egodi’s arrest for Facebook post
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said that it will issue a summon to Erisco Foods Limited over the arrest and detention of Chioma Egodi Jnr.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of FCCPC, Barrister Babatunde Irukera, made this known on X (formerly Twitter) following the arrest of Egodi, who made a review of Erisco’s product.
“UPDATE: @fccpcnigeria operatives have confirmed arrest & transfer of the case to Abuja by the Police Force. She was no longer at the station on arrival,” Irukera posted.
“Working to determine exact current location & engaging Force HQ in Abuja. Summons being issued to @EriscoFoodsLtd immediately.”
The lady in question, Egodi Jnr, made a post on Facebook on September 17, 2023, where she said she tasted too much sugar in the tin tomato she bought, a product of Erisco Foods.
“I went to buy tin tomatoes yesterday (September 16) that I will use to make stew; I didn’t see Gino and Sonia, so I decided to buy this one,” she wrote.
“When I opened it, I decided to taste it omo! Sugar is just too much! Haaa biko let me know if you have used this Tin tomato before because this is an ike gwuru situation!”
The management of Erisco Foods Limited thereafter issued an official statement about the post Egodi made on Facebook about their product and also said they would take all necessary actions against any malicious attack on their reputation.
“The attention of Erisco Foods Limited has been drawn to a Facebook post by one Chioma Egodi Jnr on September 17, 2023, alleging that Nagtko Tomato Mix, one of the three tomato paste variants of Erisco Foods Limited, contains an unhealthy amount of sugar and therefore not fit for human consumption,” Erisco wrote.
UPDATE: @fccpcnigeria operatives have confirmed arrest & transfer of the case to Abuja by the Police Force. She was no longer at the station on arrival. Working to determine exact current location & engaging Force HQ in Abuja. Summons being issued to @EriscoFoodsLtd immediately. https://t.co/Y5nHCrDRZT
— Babatunde Irukera (@TundeIrukera) September 25, 2023
“While this claim is untrue and unfounded in its entirety, we wish to put on record that Erisco Foods Limited, from inception Is built on the vision and mission to manufacture and promote healthy, wholly Made-in-Nigeria tomato products with the commitment to feeding not only Nigerians but also Africans with healthy foods.
“Our Initial reaction was to ignore and disregard the post which was obviously intended to mistead our esteemed customers and discredit the image of Ensco Foods Limited, as previously instigated by some elements and syndicates who are uncomfortable with our increasing market dominance as a leading indigenous manufacturer of 100% natural tomato pastes. Considering, however, that Erisco Foods Limited has built a reputation as a credible organization committed to due process and the good of humanity, we have decided to bring the said publication to the attention of relevant authorities.
“In light of the above, we wish to reiterate that Erisco Foods Limited is solely committed to the production of healthy tomato products, including other products that have the full regulatory stamp and approval of NAFDAC and Standard Organization of Nigeria.
“While we recognize the rights of our consumers to make genuine observations about our products, we want to thank our esteemed customers for their continued patronage of Erisco Foods Limited. However, having built our reputation on healthy and quality products which have earned us both local and international awards, including the National Productivity Order of Merit Award, we will take all necessary actions against any malicious attack on our reputation.”
Egodi was arrested and whisked away to Abuja by the Police Force, as confirmed by the FCCPC boss, Irukera on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday.
“This has come to our attention @fccpcnigeria & we are engaged. Saw statement & deepening learning of the circumstances right now,” he posted.
“We have a team seeking to clarify arrest/detention status of the subject; & activating regulatory process to secure explanation from @EriscoFoodsLtd.”
Naira Slumps To N950/$Dollar As FOREX Scarcity Worsens
The naira fell further to the dollar on Wednesday after closing at 950/$ at the parallel market.
Bureau de Change operators who spoke to newsmen said that the naira which had earlier closed at 930/$ at the close of operations on Tuesday was bought and sold at 935/$ and 950/$ on Wednesday.
At the Investor & Exporter forex window, the naira closed at 758.12/$ on Wednesday, from 742.10 on Tuesday, according to figures obtained from the FMDQ, the official trading platform.
A BDC operator, Yusuf Kareem, who spoke to The PUNCH said, “We commenced trading at 930/$ in the morning and it closed at 950/$ in the evening. The naira has been scarce; we don’t know what is happening.”
Another BDC operator, Sanusi Ibrahim, said, “The naira was bought and sold at 935/$ and 950/$ today. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”
External reserves fall by $915m after naira float
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, recently, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to grant Bureaux De Change operators digital autonomy to achieve exchange rate convergence.
Nigeria’s reserve is $3.7b, not $33.8b, says JP Morgan
Global financial service firm JP Morgan has estimated Nigeria’s net foreign reserve to be around $3.7 billion.
The figure is far below the $33.8 billion as of August 17 on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website.
JP Morgan’s estimate is much lower than the net figure of $14 billion reported at the end of 2021.
The bank disclosed this in its latest report on Nigeria titled “Nigeria: Reform pause rather than fatigue”.
It noted that the lower-than-reported forex reserve is the result of larger currency swaps and borrowings against the forex reserve.
The global financial institution said: “Based on partial information from the audited financial accounts, we estimate that CBN’s net forex reserves were around $3.7 billion at the end of last year, from $14 billion at the end-2021.”
According to the bank, the assumptions followed an addition of $5 billion in International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to external reserves to arrive at total gross forex reserves of US$37.8 billion.
It added that by adjusting the gross external reserves with three key forex liability lines that include forex forwards ($6.84 billion), securities lending ($5.5 billion), and currency swaps ($21.3 billion).
It estimated currency swaps by backing out forex forwards and outstanding Over Counter (OTC) Futures balances from an overall aggregate published in the financial accounts.
The bank said the CBN still can withstand the pressure accompanying the low forex reserve especially, as profit from swap arrangements between the CBN and commercial banks, the rates will continue to rise.
READ ALSO: CBN staff loans jump by 113%, hit N40bn
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