Vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunity for stakeholders in all sectors of the economy to embrace innovation and creativity.
Osinbajo made this known at the 14th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Association of Energy Economics, in Abuja, on Monday.
The theme of the conference is “Strategic Responses of Energy Sector to COVID-19 impacts on African Economies”.
Represented by the Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Mr Ahmad Zakari, Osinbajo said the oil and gas sector most hit by the pandemic would be better off with all stakeholders coming together to strategise on new ways to move the sector.
He said the theme of the conference was apt as African battling with high poverty level needed energy for economic growth and development.
“The energy sector as one of the most critical sector of all economies was impacted adversely by the pandemic due to lockdowns and restrictions in movement of people and halt of operations of many energy organisations.
“This brought huge losses for both public and private organisations, we also know that COVID-19 caused global damage in the global economies but it provided unique opportunity for thinking out of the box for solving most of the problems in the world.
“Looking at the level of academics among you, I have no doubt that you will bring out ways the energy sector will use to come out of various challenges that the pandemic has presented in the sector,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said the Nigeria oil and gas sector had been coming up with projects that had the potential of evolving the sector.
According to him, the Final Investment Decision on NLNG Train 7, the Ajaokuta Kaduna Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline projects and others are good moves for the economy.
He called on all participants to use the conference to proffer way forward for the growth of the nation’s oil and gas sector.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said Africa and Nigeria were most affected by the pandemic.
Sylva said that many nations in Africa had no access to energy which affected the economic growth and development of the continent.
“The most current report says that about 50 per cent of the continent population have no access to energy that is about 600 million people have no access to electricity.
“ It has also been widely reported that it has been worsen by the COVID-19 pandemic as the past one and half years has adversely affected energy development in the global world not withstanding low carbon emission recorded,’’ he said
According to him, the theme of the conference is strategic as there is a need for strategic response for energy sector to revive with the adverse 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 to drive the growth of the sector.
“Looking at the crop of speakers here today, I am convinced that various ideas that will help to grow the sector will be adequately shared.
“On this note, I urged all the stakeholders and speakers present at this conference, to feel free to discuss issues in details and come out with strategic ideas that will assist in our quest to grow the energy sector,’’ he said
Also, the President, International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE), Mr James Smith, commended the steadfast progress that the NAEE had made in recent years.
“ Given Nigeria’s key role in the world oil market, we are especially grateful to have an active and effective affiliate of IAEE to provide leadership in these changing and challenging times,” Smith said.
He noted that the pandemic had made it more difficult for most people to do their jobs and made jobs any less important.
According to him, it has also generated many new questions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 on the energy economy.
“What will be the final effect on the demand and supply of the myriad energy resources at our disposal?
“Has public reaction to the pandemic changed society’s perception of what is an appropriate degree of government intervention in our daily lives—including how various forms of energy are to be priced or utilised?
“How, if at all, has the pandemic changed the probable pace and shape of the highly anticipated and much heralded energy transition? And what do those changes portend for the role of petroleum in the global energy economy as we move forward?,’’ he said.
He noted that because many of the underlying assumptions that ground these issues had abruptly changed, it may behoove all to revisit even some of those questions and topics that were previously thought to have been fully addressed.
Represented by Prof. Wumi Iledare, former President of NAEE, he said, agenda for energy researchers had never been so full and rich, and the role of an organisation like NAEE had never been more important. (NAN)
Shaibu Relocates Office Out Of Edo Govt House
The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu has commenced the relocation of his office to an area outside the vicinity of the Government House.
The development follows last of Shuaibu’s suit filed at the Federal High Court to stop alleged plots by week’s withdrawal the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to remove him from office.
The new office is situated at No. 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, close to the Government House.
Sources close to the deputy governor said that a letter was sent by the Head of Service to the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor instructing her to supervise the movement of civil servants and files to the new office.
It was also gathered that the new office is not habitable as there is no electricity, is waterlogged, and the office spaces are significantly small.
The state government had however insisted that the deputy governor’s new office is within the confines of the area designated as the Government House.
NARD SET TO CALL OF STRIKE AFTER SENATE’S INTERVENTION
••• Cancels Planned National Protest
Striking members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are set to call off their two week old strike after a closed door meeting with Principal Officers of the Senate on Tuesday.
Adressing the media shortly after the closed door meeting with President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate, National President of the association, Dr Emeka Innocent Orji, stated “we had a very fruitful meeting with the Senate led by the President of the Senate and from our discussions with them, we are very hopeful that when we table our discussions today before the NEC, something positive would come out.
“From our interaction with the President of the Senate and the practical demonstration he did before us today, we are very confident that there would be light at the end of the tunnel in the next 24 hours.
“Because of the intervention of the President of the Senate, who is the number three citizen and the assurance he has given us, our planned national protest has been cancelled while the decision on the ongoing strike would be taken as soon we meet, he assured.
Speaking in the same vein, Senator Akpabio, thanked the medical doctors for honoring the Senate by calling off their planned national protest and also working towards calling off the strike.
According to him, ” I thank you onbehalf of the Senate for honoring us with your decision not only to cancel the planned public protest, but to also call off the strike in the interest of the suffering masses.
“Your demands are well noted and let me assure you that as soon as a Minister in charge of Health is appointed, the Senate will work with him or her to expeditiously adress all your grievances. The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is Doctors friendly and that explains the large number of medical practitioners he has appointed into his cabinet.
“Strike by medical practitioners should not be allowed even for a day because of the impacts it creates in the polity and that is why the Senate is determined to ensure through interactions and consultation with relevant offices, amicable settlement of the impasse is reached,” he stated.
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio (3rd from left), Dr Emeka Innocent Orji (middle) Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele and Senator Ireti Kingibe (first from right)after a meeting with national officers of NARD in the office the President of the Senate on Tuesday.
Nigerian-Made Noodles Safe To Eat, Says NAFDAC
The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified noodles manufactured in Nigeria, saying they are safe for consumption.
The confirmation followed the Agency’s investigation into the presence of ethylene oxide or its metabolite in noodles or their seasonings.
This was made known by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday.
She noted that ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings which make them safe for consumption.
The NAFDAC boss also declared that the level of mycotoxin and the heavy metals were within the internationally acceptable limit.
“Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat,” she stated.
Giving account of how the sampling of the noodles was conducted, she said, “Samples of chicken flavoured instant noodles of various brands (and the seasonings) were drawn from the production facilities across the country.
“This was to ensure that the investigation was robust, covering other instant noodles brands manufactured in Nigeria, besides Indomie, the implicated brand.
“The Post Marketing Surveillance Division also visited markets/retail outlets in the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano and drew samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis.
“The market visits served as surveillance for the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market.
“The samples drawn from production facilities and trade were properly packaged and delivered in good condition to our Central Laboratory, Oshodi, Lagos, where analytical activities commenced immediately in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis.”
For the sampling, a total of 114 samples of instant noodles and the seasonings were received, the NAFDAC DG stated.
The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.
Nationwide Strike : TUC Faults NLC
ShareThe Trade Union Congress (TUC) has raised alarm that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) not carry it along before declaring...
Economic: Defence Chief Warns Coup Advocates
ShareThe Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, has warned against advocating for a coup due to economic hardship, emphasizing...
Senate To Probe CBN’s Anchor Borrowers, Ways And Means
ShareThe Senate on Tuesday, resolved to further investigate N10trn Anchor Borrowers’ Programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as...
Security: Bill To Introduce State Police Scales Second Reading
ShareA Constitution Amendment Bill to introduce state police has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives. The bill, which...
Edo Guber Poll: Uzodinma Heads APC Primary Election Committee
ShareChairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Hope Uzodinma is to head the seven-man All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo Gubernatorial...