The Faculty of Management Sciences, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State has hosted its maiden international conference themed: “SDG’s and COVID-19: Mainstreaming Resilient and Sustainable Economic Transformation in Africa”.
The 3-day conference which started with a workshop saw experts and scholars from different disciplines converge to proffer solutions to the challenges facing Africa due to COVID-19 Pandemic.
Delivering the keynote speech, the former Minister of Power and a two-time Vice-Chancellor of Federal Universities, Prof. Ven. Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo noted that Sustainable Development is the development that meets the needs of present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.
Speaking specifically on the topic “Nigeria Energy Crisis: Addressing Issues of Sustainable Development”, he opined that there cannot be sustainable development without uninterrupted power supply, adding however that Nigeria’s overdependence on oil makes it prone to global market risks.
He posited that Nigeria is not maintaining sustainable and continuing energy system due to its inability to utilize the resources it already has, adding that severe inefficiency, mismanagement, corruption and poor service quality, little investment to improve human capacity development and government’s inability to develop the plants and illegal connection by consumers are some of the serious challenges confronting electricity availability in the country.
Continuing he maintained that COVID-19 has taught Africa a great lesson, impacting her both negatively and positively with serious economic, political, cultural and religious consequences, noting that the menace has presented Africa with the challenge of being self-reliant and less dependent on foreign goods and services.
Proffering solution to the problem, the former minister pointed out that Nigeria should use her local resources, overlook foreign policy and appoint ministers based on qualification and make everyone take responsibility for their actions.
While declaring the conference open, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sunday Elom represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof Abel Ezeoha, noted that the theme of the conference was apt and timely considering the enormous economic challenges being faced by African nations due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. He therefore urged the participants to make use of the opportunity provided by the conference to widen their knowledge on the various contemporary issues arising from the pandemic
Earlier in his welcome address, the Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof. Femi Adeyeye, said that the conference was a gathering of experts from different disciplines who came together to contribute to the ongoing debates and dialogues on the theme, with the hope of enhancing human effort and providing solutions to the damaging effects of COVID-19, which is militating against SDGs in Africa. He added that since 2019, the pandemic has wrecked incalculable havoc on people’s lives and their means of livelihood across the globe.
The Lead paper presenters and other speakers at the event include Prof. Aminu Mamman, University of Manchester, United kingdom, who spoke on “African philosophy to the Rescue: It will take a Global Village to Find a Cure for Global Pandemics”; Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, the Director. Center for Climate Change and Development, AE FUNAI, talked on “Green and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 Recovery in Africa.” While Prof. Solabomi Ajibolade, Head, Department of Accounting, University of Lagos, Nigeria, spoke on “COVID-19, SDGs and sustainable Economic Transformation.