1. IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON HOW THIS WILL IMPACT AFRICAN ECONOMIES GENERALLY AND YOUR INDUSTRY SPECIFICALLY?
The COVID-19 crisis is affecting the entire world economy and that of Africa. Some of the ley sectors of the African economy are already experiencing a slowdown because of the pandemic. Tourism, air transport and small and medium enterprises are evidently impacted. The closure of non-essential services to slow the spread of COVID-19 has devastated the economy and forced business to shutter temporarily. Domestically, companies operating in tourism, air transport, small and medium enterprise have experienced a loss in revenues. As a result, these companies regrettable retrenched their employees or
slashed their salaries with certain percentage as they no longer at anideal financial position to pay the salaries of their workforce. The cost interms of income loss with no alternatives will lead to many familiesfaced with object poverty, hunger, and poor living standards.
Equally, COVID-19 has also affected the energy industry, in this regard, access to electricity. Energy services are key to preventing disease and fighting COVID-19 pandemics from powering healthcare facilities and supplying clean water for essential hygiene, to enabling communications and IT services that connect people while maintaining
social distancing. In essence, people are relying on electricity while confined to their homes.
At the same time, the effects of COVID-19 are anticipated to or have caused both supply and demand challenges across the sector and put existing energy systems under pressure. Economic conditions make it harder for low-income customers and business to pay their electricity bills on time. African utilities, NORED included, already under financial strain, may struggle to provide basic services due to difficulties in manufacturing, supplying, and delivering of electrical goods from the suppliers.
2. COULD YOU SHARE WITH US WHAT YOUR COMPANY HAS IMPLEMENTED TO ADAPT TO THE CURRENT SITUATION?
Following the declarations of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 by World Health Organisation (WHO) and in line with the national declaration of State of Emergency by our President, NORED has resolved and implemented both operational and precautionary measures to sustain the company as well as to protect our customers and stakeholders during this period.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the company has re-strategized and took the following decisions:
▪ Has temporarily suspended expenditure on non-essential services. This is to ensure company sustainability.
▪ Put all new consumers connections on hold due to unavailability or inadequate supply of material from the manufacturers and suppliers of electrical goods who are most not locals. In brief, this is caused by demand and supply challenges.
▪ Implemented various Hygiene and Health precautionary measures for our employees and customers.
3. WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU FORESEE IN THE INVESTMENTS SPACE IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
After the COVID-19 pandemic, we foresee the integration of technological innovation in energy sector.