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Shell Nigeria says COVID-19 adversely affected businesses

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The Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Gas Ltd. (SNG), Ed Ubong, said on Wednesday that the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted its business in the country.

“COVID-19 has also impacted Shell businesses in Nigeria, Shell Nigeria Gas Limited included. We are not too big to also be negatively impacted. This pandemic is unprecedented,’’ Mr Ubong said.

He spoke on a live radio programme, “Canvass-Niger Delta Roundtable’’, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa.

The managing director said that the negative impact of the virus cuts across business sectors.

He said that the shutdown by its 118 customers during the peak of lockdown compelled the company to scale down operations.

According to him, the decision of the federal government to grant waivers to the energy sector as essential service was a panacea to total collapse.

Mr Ubong noted that the pandemic was something that most people alive were yet to experience.

“Except, maybe, the few who were alive in 1918 when there was the Spanish Flu. The world has gone into lockdown for some months, but all of us still require key products and services.

“The pandemic has cut across various industries, travels, manufacturing etc. We have seen significant fluctuations in the price of oil for instance.

“Several businesses have had to declare bankruptcy while some have had to cut down the scale of their operations. So, indeed, all of us have been affected.

“The real challenge for resilient organisations is how to find creative ways to come through this stage in time so that we are still able to operate and provide services,” Mr Ubong said.

On the impact of COVID-19 on SNG, Mr Ubong said that since March, staff of the company work from home.

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“Majority of our staff work from home. A few staff in our field location bases (FLB) are those manning our facilities.

“These are critical staff required to be at the FLB just to ensure that the base and the facilities are safe.

“So, basically, for a lot of people in the company, it is the new way to work from home.

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“On the customer front, we have more than 118 customers that we sell gas to directly. All based on signed agreements. What we have done with them at this period is to stay regularly in touch with them,’’ Mr Ubong said.

The SNG boss said that Shell group donated testing machines, medical consumables and supported the building of isolation centres in Rivers, Bayelsa, Imo, Abia, Delta, Lagos and Ogun states.

(NAN)



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