…As TotalEnergies shows why country must hurry up on renewable energy
A business and entrepreneurship promotion group in Port Harcourt known as ‘Make-in-Nigeria’ advocacy has unveiled ways Nigeria can conserve foreign exchange and make Nigeria compete with great nations of the world.
‘Make-in-Nigeria’ opened its annual conference and exhibition in Port Harcourt with local and international speakers at the Autograph on Abacha Road.
Experts showed how entrepreneurship is the only way Nigerians can take their destinies in their hands, reduce demand for foreign exchange, and compete with the rest of the world.
The convener, Uche Onochie, in his welcome remarks, said this is the place where entrepreneurs are taught how to think and create new businesses.
Before declaring the conference and exhibition open, the president of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Mike Elechi, said the event was part of the search for a greater economic strength for Nigeria.
Saying that Make-in-Nigeria is a PHCCIMA baby, being nurtured by a dedicated member (Onochie), Elechi disclosed that effort was to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and untapped potentials.
He made it clear that the world was interconnected and trade runs through the entire globe and determines what happens in each country,
According to him, if Nigeria wants to reduce hunger for foreign exchange and Dollar, Nigerians must embrace entrepreneurship and productivity in all aspects of national endeavour. He said such is what would galvanise Nigeria to compete with the world.
Elechi, a one-time permanent secretary in the state and now managing director of an agric enterprise, said Make-in-Nigeria is now in its 13th year, and assured the group of the continued support of the PHCCIMA.
Speaking, Onochie the convener said the world was between innovation and managing. He said the right way was, think, make, grow, thus the summit is for innovators.
He stated thus: “This is a place where they help you to think. When you think, you must make, sure you will grow. People all over the world come here to help you think. We have brought resource persons from around the world.
“Getting SMEs to success level is very difficult. We have success stories,” he said.
Later in an interview, Onochie explained how entrepreneurs are assisted to think. “Another name for it is Business Development. We ask ourselves, how do you become business-conscious without thinking? Maybe, it’s a habit some of us have, but anywhere we are, we look around and think out a business that place can nurture. For instance, my friend and I walked up to the State Secretariat the other day and as we went, we saw 10 businesses that can fetch N100,000 per week. Look, business is no assumption.”
On the impact of the scheme so far, he said it has been great. “We are no longer teaching people to build businesses but to build systems; systems that can attract collaboration, foreign partnership, etc. We encourage entrepreneurs to create something that would be viable.
“This is the 13th edition, and it is our contribution to the economy of Nigeria and the South-South. We need support from the government and also from big corporations and companies. This is the 13th year and TotalEnergies is now here. We need more of such. We want more companies to get close.
Some companies in Lagos are just looking this way. They usually say there are no companies in Port Harcourt, but this is not totally correct. It is our duty to show them that there are businesses and companies here.”
He explained how governments can play a part, saying it can be through different ways.
“It may not be in terms of money but if the governor of the state or principal officers show up here, many companies will struggle to be here.
“Do you imagine that we approached all the 23 LGAs and offered them 200 slots each, free. Only two agreed to send people but none is here yet. This is the setback here.”
TotalEnergies explains transition objectives
The General Manager of TotalEnergies Community Affairs Projects and Development, Godspower Nwachukwu, explained its interest in Make-in-Nigeria, saying the IOC wishes to use the platform to showcase the creative works of its graduate trainees and entrepreneurs.
He explained the company’s journey from fossil fuel to a clean/sustainable energy company, targeting 2050 zero hydrocarbon energy.
“Fossil fuel now is 81percent while the rest is 19 percent.”
He said TotalEnergies explores ways to get away totally from fossil fuel. “World population would be nine billion people by 2050. By this time, energy demand will increase. If fuel does not move to renewable, more pollution will occur.
“Issues such as population, climate change, environmental concerns will create impact on demand for energy. TotalEnergies is the only company doing plastics recycling at the moment.”
He harped on pollution and flooding, saying it is caused by increase in global temperatures that melt ice on mountains, greenhouse gasses increase.
“Its why TotalEnergies is migrating. De-carbonisation increases the use renewals through carbon capture. We are empowering people, host community people in the energy transition with the use of gas as transit fuel to hydrogen and biomas. Clean energy is the target.”
Many resource persons who spoke at the conference on many topics include Oseyomon Ighodaloh, founder and CEO of Bamboo Group, whose company became the first to sell real estate on metaverse; Nnamdi Ibe, first certified management consultant with over 15 years of experience; Olumati Isaiah, principal of Mirus Empire; Maple Dappa of Maplemond; Asawo Ibifuro of Cinfores fame, and Ikechi Nwogu, co-founder of CINFORES.