Aviation industry suffers setbacks over low percentage of women — NAMA DG
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.
CBN denies devaluing Naira to N630/ $1
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied devaluing the Naira to N630 per $1 United States dollar from its official exchange rate N465/US$1.
The apex bank said in a statement by
Isa AbdulMumin PhD Ag. Director, Corporate Communications that attention of the bank has been drawn to a news report by Daily Trust Newspaper of June 1, 2023, titled “CBN Devalues Naira To 630/$1”.
“We wish to state categorically that this news report, which in the imagination of the newspaper is exclusive, is replete with outright FALSEHOODS and destabilizing innuendos, reflecting potentially willful ignorance of the said medium as to the workings of the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, the exchange rate at the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) window traded this
morning (June 1, 2023) at N465/US$1 and has been stable around this rate for a while.
“The public is hereby advised to ignore the news report by Daily Trust in its entirety, as it is speculative and calculated at causing panic in the market.
“Media practitioners are advised to verify their facts from the Central Bank of Nigeria before publishing in order not to misinform the public.”
Uncertainty grips Nigerians as NNPCL confirms new PMS pump price
Fear of uncertainty grip most Nigerians on Wednesday as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) confirmed a new PMS pump price of N537 per litre of fuel in Abuja.
The over 200 percent increase of in a product that have influencing impart on transportation cost and consequently on prices of other commodities ,left the residents of Abuja wondering on how to survive in the coming days ,weeks and months.
Nigerians should brace up for harder times as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has confirmed a new price regime for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), across section of the residents said, but majority of the residents preferred to hold back their comments .
In its release dated 31 May, 2023 the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPCL, Garba Deen Muhammad, had confirmed the new price regime.
He stated in the release, tagged “Adjustment In Pump Price Of PMS”, that the adjustment in the pump price of fuel was in line with current market realities.
The NNPCL could not give any assurance of stability of the new price regime for PMS as it declared: “It is pertinent to note that prices will continue to fluctuate to reflect market dynamics.”
It however promised to strive to provide end users of the petroleum product of quality service and ceaseless supply.
“NNPC Limited wishes to inform our esteemed customers that we have adjusted our pump prices of PMS across our retail outlets, in line with current market realities.
“As we strive to provide you with the quality service for which we are known, it is pertinent to note that prices will continue to fluctuate to reflect market dynamics.
“We assure you that NNPC Limited is committed to ensuring a ceaseless supply of products.
“The company sincerely regrets any inconvenience this development may have caused.
“We greatly appreciate your continued patronage, support, and understanding during this time of change and growth,” NNPCL stated in the release.
There has been sudden fuel scarcity in several parts of the country following the affirmation by President Bola Tinubu, during his inauguration on Monday, that the fuel subsidy has been removed.
Motorists have since been finding it difficult to get fuel, even as the pump price of the product rose to as high as N650 per litre at some filling stations.
The sudden increment was against an initial understanding that the removal of oil subsidy would be implemented by the end of June.
In the midst of the controversies, Nigerians woke up on Wednesday morning only to learn that the NNPCL had jerked up pump prices of petrol (PMS) by over 200 per cent.
The new PMS pump price template purportedly sent by NNPCL to petroleum marketers.
The latest increment brought the pump price to between N488 and N577 per litre, with Lagos State having the lowest price, while Borno and Yobe states would be selling at N557 per litre.
This was a sharp increase from the old pump price regime of between N189 per litre and N199 per litre across the states before the removal of subsidy.
If the new pricing template, purportedly sent by the NNPCL Management to marketers is anything to go by, the new price regime takes effect from today.
As contained in the template, the new price regime per litre, across the states, effective from today, 31 May, 2023, is as follows:
Lagos: ₦488; FCT Abuja: ₦537; Abia: ₦515; Adamawa: ₦550; Akwa Ibom: ₦515; Anambra: ₦520; Bauchi: ₦550; Bayelsa: ₦515; Benue: ₦537; Borno: ₦557; Cross River: ₦511; Delta: ₦511; Edo: ₦511;
Ekiti: ₦500; Enugu: ₦520; Ebonyi: ₦520; Gombe: ₦550; Imo: ₦515; Jigawa: ₦540; Kaduna: ₦540; Kano: ₦540; Katsina: ₦540; Kebbi: ₦545; Kogi: ₦537; Kwara: ₦515; Nasarawa: N537;
Niger: ₦537; Ogun: ₦500; Ondo: ₦500; Osun: ₦500 per litre; Oyo: ₦500! Plateau: ₦537; Rivers: ₦511; Sokoto: ₦540; Taraba: ₦550! Yobe: ₦557! and Zamfara: ₦540 per litre.
MAN, NECA, NACCIMA reject FG’s excise tax hike
The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria comprising the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industries, and the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises has rejected the recently announced increase in excise tax.
The hike, contained in the circular dated April 20, 2023, was reportedly signed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
In a statement signed by the Director-General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir; Director-General, NACCIMA, Olusola Obadimu; Director-General, NECA, Adewale Oyerinde; Director-General, Ifeanyi Oputa; and Director-General, NASSI, and Eke Ubiji, the OPSN called for an immediate reversal of the hike. It said the increase was unwarranted, ill-timed and inimical to the Nigerian economy and the manufacturing sector in particular.
It said the manufacturing sector is presently grappling with unprecedented challenges including the sustained scarcity of naira, limited access to foreign exchange, a struggling economy and persistent inflation, alongside perennial problems of multiple taxation and epileptic power supply.
These challenges, the OPSN said, had resulted in a record crash in sales for most businesses running into billions of Naira, with the result that manufacturers are struggling to remain in business, amidst looming job cuts, mothballing of factories and total shutdown of businesses.
The statement partly read, “Therefore, increasing excise rates at this time is extremely ill-advised and may sound the death knell for affected businesses and their contribution to the national economy, even as the broader manufacturing sector continues to deteriorate.
“In light of the above, the OPSN respectfully requests the Federal Government to urgently reverse the increase in excise rates to protect the affected industries and the dependent businesses in their extended value chain from imminent collapse with calamitous consequences for the economy.
“We further request that the Federal Government suspends excise taxes in the manufacturing sector for a minimum of six months, to arrest the alarming decline in the sector.”
The OPSN also advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently deploy measures to fully alleviate the Naira scarcity crisis and prioritise foreign exchange allocations to the productive sector.
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