Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo has called on stakeholders in the energy industry to come up with solutions to challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to the sector.
This call was made by the vice-president during the 14th annual conference of the Nigerian Association of Energy Economics, titled: “Strategic responses of energy sector to COVID-19 impacts on African economies”, in Abuja on Monday.
Represented by Ahmad Zakari, special adviser on infrastructure to Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative effects on different sectors of the economy, the crisis created an opportunity in recovering and transforming the oil and gas industry.
According to him, the oil and gas sector most hit by the pandemic would be better off with all stakeholders coming together to strategize on new ways to move the sector.
He said the theme of the conference is appropriate as Africans battling with high poverty levels 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,” Osinbajo said.
“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 a 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 also called on all participants at the conference to proffer the way forward for the growth of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.