…As TotalEnergies shows why countries need to hurry up with renewables
A business and entrepreneurship promotion group in Port Harcourt known as “Make-in-Nigeria” advocacy has revealed ways for Nigeria to save foreign exchange and make Nigeria compete with the big nations of the world.
‘Make-in-Nigeria’ launched its annual conference and exhibition in Port Harcourt with local and international speakers at Autograph on Abacha Road.
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Experts have shown that entrepreneurship is the only way Nigerians can take their destiny into their own hands, reduce the demand for foreign exchange and compete with the rest of the world.
The organizer, Uche Onochie, in his welcome remarks said this is a place where entrepreneurs learn 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 quest for greater economic strength for Nigeria.
Elechi said that Make-in-Nigeria is a baby of PHCCIMA that is being looked after by a dedicated member (Onochie) and disclosed that the effort was to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and untapped potential.
He made it clear that the world is connected and trade is happening all over the world and determines what happens in each country,
According to him, if Nigeria wants to reduce its hunger for foreign exchange and dollars, Nigerians must embrace entrepreneurship and productivity in all aspects of national endeavour. He said this is what would encourage Nigeria to compete with the world.
Elechi, a former permanent secretary in the state and now the managing director of an agribusiness, said Make-in-Nigeria was now in its 13th year and assured the group of PHCCIMA’s continued support.
Convener Onochie said the world is between innovation and management. He said the right way is to think, make, grow, so the summit is for innovators.
He said this: “This is a place to help you think. When you think, you have to make sure you grow. People from all over the world come here to help you think. We have brought people resources from all over the world.
“Getting an SME to a level of success is very difficult. We have success stories,” he said.
Later in the interview, Onochie explained how entrepreneurs are helped to think. “Another name is Business Development. We ask ourselves how to become a business mind without thinking? Maybe it’s a habit that some of us have, but wherever we are, we look around and think of a business that can feed the place. For example, my friend and I went to the state secretariat the other day and as we went, we saw 10 businesses that can collect N100,000 in a week. Look, trade is not a prerequisite.”
As for the system’s impact so far, he said it has been great. “We no longer teach people to build businesses, but to build systems; systems that can attract cooperation, foreign partnerships, etc. We support entrepreneurs to create something that would be viable.
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“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 here now. We need more of these. We want more companies to approach.
Some companies in Lagos are just looking in that direction. They usually say that there are no companies in Port Harcourt, but that is not entirely true. It is our duty to show them that there are businesses and companies here.”
He explained how governments can play a role, saying it can be in a variety of ways.
“Maybe it’s not in terms of money, but if the governor of the state or the chief officers show up, a lot of companies will struggle to be here.
“You can imagine that we reached out to all 23 LGAs and offered them 200 free slots. Only two have agreed to send people, but no one is here yet. It’s a failure here.”
TotalEnergies explains the goals of the transition
The Managing Director, TotalEnergies Community Affairs Projects and Development, Godspower Nwachukwu, explained his 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 fuels to a clean/sustainable energy company with the goal of zero carbon energy by 2050.
“Fossil fuels now make up 81 percent, while the rest is 19 percent.”
He said TotalEnergies is exploring ways to get off fossil fuels entirely. “By 2050, the world population would be nine billion people. By this time, the demand for energy will increase. If the fuel does not switch to renewable sources, there will be more pollution.
“Issues like population, climate change, environmental concerns will have an impact on energy demand. TotalEnergies is currently the only company involved in recycling plastics.”
He pointed to pollution and flooding, saying it was caused by rising global temperatures melting ice on mountains and increasing greenhouse gases.
“This is why TotalEnergies is migrating. Decarbonisation increases recovery through carbon sequestration. We empower the people, the people of the host community, in the energy transition using gas as a transit fuel to hydrogen and biomass. The goal is clean energy.”
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Among the many speakers at the conference were Oseyomon Ighodaloh, founder and CEO of Bamboo Group, whose company became the first to sell real estate on the metaverse; Nnamdi Ibe, the first certified management consultant with over 15 years of experience; Olumati Isaiah, Director of Peace’s Realm; Maple Dappa of Maplemond; Asawo Ibifuro of Cinfores fame and Ikechi Nwogu, co-founder of CINFORES.