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COVID-19 creates opportunities for innovation – Osinbajo

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COVID-19 creates opportunities for innovation – Osinbajo

By Edith Ike-Eboh

Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo said the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for stakeholders from all sectors of the economy to embrace innovation and creativity.

Osinbajo made this known at the Nigerian Energy Conservation Association’s 14th annual conference in Abuja on Monday.

The theme of the conference is “Strategic responses of the energy sector to the impacts of COVID-19 on African economies”.

Represented by Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari, Osinbajo said the oil and gas sector most affected by the pandemic would be better off if all stakeholders come together to strategize on new ways to move the world. sector.

He said the theme of the conference was appropriate as Africa struggling with high levels of poverty needed energy for economic growth and development.

“The energy sector, as one of the most critical sectors in all economies, has been negatively affected by the pandemic due to blockages and restrictions on the movement of people and the shutdown of operations. many energy organizations.

“This has resulted in huge losses for public and private organizations, we also know that COVID-19 has caused global damage in global economies, but it has provided a unique opportunity to think outside the box to resolve most of the issues in the world.

“Looking at the level of academics among you, I have no doubt that you will highlight the ways that the energy sector will use to get out of the various challenges that the pandemic has presented in the sector,” he said. .

Osinbajo said Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has come up with projects that could change the industry.

According to him, the final investment decision on the NLNG 7 train, Ajaokuta Kaduna Kano (AKK) pipeline projects and others are good measures for the economy.

He called on all participants to use the conference to propose a way forward for the growth of the country’s oil and gas sector.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said Africa and Nigeria were worst affected by the pandemic.

Sylva said that many countries in Africa do not have access to energy, which has affected the economic growth and development of the continent.

“The most recent report indicates that around 50 percent of the continent’s population does not have access to energy and that around 600 million people do not have access to electricity.

“It has also been widely reported that it has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the past one and a half years have hampered energy development around the world, despite the low carbon emissions recorded,” he said. he declares.

According to him, the theme of the conference is strategic as there is a need for a strategic response for the energy sector to recover with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in various economies.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Moses Olamide, he welcomed all participants and urged them to make contributions that would help stimulate the growth of the sector.

“Looking at the crop of speakers here today, I am confident that various ideas that will help develop the sector will be adequately shared.

“On that note, I urged all stakeholders and speakers present at this conference, to feel free to discuss the issues in detail and come up with strategic ideas that will help us in our quest to grow the industry. energy, ”he said.

In addition, the President of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), Mr. James Smith, praised the steady progress made by the NAEE in recent years.

“Given Nigeria’s key role in the global oil market, we are particularly grateful to have an active and effective IAEE affiliate to provide leadership in these changing and difficult times,” said Smith.

He noted that the pandemic had made it harder for most people to do their jobs and made jobs less important.

According to him, this has also generated many new questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the energy economy.

“What will be the final effect on demand and supply of the myriad of energy resources at our disposal?

“Has the public response to the pandemic changed the perception of society about what an appropriate degree of government intervention is in our daily lives, including how different forms of energy should be priced? or used?

“How, if at all, has the pandemic changed the likely pace and form of the much-anticipated and much-heralded energy transition? And what do these changes portend for oil’s role in the global energy economy as we move forward? “, did he declare.

He noted that since many of the underlying assumptions underlying these issues had suddenly changed, it might be helpful for everyone to revisit even some of those questions and topics that were previously considered to have been fully addressed.

Represented by Professor Wumi Iledare, former president of the NAEE, he said, the agenda of energy researchers had never been so comprehensive and rich, and the role of an organization like the NAEE had never been never been so important. (NAA)

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