Shell says it is keen on making the Niger Delta region play in the emerging energy technology and entrepreneurship that may displace fossil energy system around the world. This is as Ngozi Deborah Atalor emerged winner of the pitch in Port Harcourt to select the best entrepreneur in the energy initiative.
The oil major said in Port Harcourt that its efforts were encouraged by the emergence of two Niger Deltans as top 10 in a global rating in the energy of the future.
The managing director and country chair of Shell, Osagie Okunbur, who made the disclosure said Shell was part of the search for the energy of the future and that the company was promoting the efforts of Nigeria’s oil region in the new energy. The project is called #makethefuture Accelerator campaign.
The MD, who spoke through Igo Weli, GM, external relations, said the event was the first of its kind in the energy solution initiative in Nigeria, saying Livewire was Shell’s flagship of the youth enterprise development programme launched in 2003. “It has produced 6,580 Niger Delta entrepreneurs, most of who are now employers of labour. Some of them are given opportunity in Shell’s supply chain and provided access to finance for growth”.
According to the MD, the #makethefuture project is part of a global Livewire scheme that helps young entrepreneurs to create innovative products and transform the world, saying the scheme has so far received many awards from around the world.”
He went on: “The goal of the ‘Accelerator’ programme is to scale up high-performing Livewire entrepreneurs who are into access to energy business to enable them increase the delivery of clean energy solutions in the Niger Delta region. The event today is to help provide a platform for access to energy entrepreneurs to learn from industry leaders. It offers mentorship opportunities and tips on how to scale up their businesses. At the end, five winning entrepreneurs will receive funding and coaching to further expand their businesses. They will also be offered mentorship opportunities.”
Shell media team explained earlier that the event promotes those who have been recognized around the world to be making innovative contributions to resolving the energy solution now and in the future.
“The event is held in Port Harcourt for Nigeria as an amplifier of the launch event in Lagos a week earlier in the hash-tag, #makethefuture campaign. It is built around Nigeria’s music idol, Yemi Alade. Port Harcourt has been chosen for this because two Niger Delta entrepreneurs, Henry Chukwubueze Chikagu and Ngozi Deborah Atalor out of seven Nigerian nominees finished in the top 10 of a Shell global competition for innovative energy solutions.”
The company said Shell #makethefuture is a global advertising campaign targeted at young people with brilliant ideas on how to think out creative ideas on how the possible energy challenges of the world can be solved. “The campaign drives specific energy solution competitions like the ‘Bright Energy Ideas’ using music by iconic international stars like Yemi Alade, Jennifer Hudson, Pixie Lott, Luan Santana, and Monali Thakur.”
The GM, speaking his own mind at the event, described the event as very important, saying a look into the oil industry would reveal that the industry is now weak. “Despite all this, Shell is fighting for the future of the energy industry, promoting any meaningful venture that could guarantee a sustainable energy source in the future. Now, two Nigerians have emerged in the top 10 in the global energy competition sponsored by Shell.”
He recalled various efforts by Shell to boost creativity and investment in the oil region. “In April 2017, Shell spent a full day at the Rivers State University (formerly Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST) to share with the youths about building the future. The event was really important because at some other event, some of the participants at the RSU recalled it and pleaded for such moments that could motivate them to a new Niger Delta of creativity and innovation. Shell is promoting a scheme that would see two young persons going to Netherlands for one week training in strategic areas.”
He went on; “Shell just held the 2017 edition of the Shell/PETAN graduate engineering week on December 7, which places 40 engineers’ apprentices under well established engineering firms in the oil sector. Shell is also partnering with Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) on electricity project in some oil host communities in the energy efficiency programme.”