Welcome Address at the 2019 Annual Marketing Conference of National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) by Mr. Tony Agenmonmen, fnimn President & Chairman of Council
I would like to on behalf of the Council of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, welcome you all to the 2019 Annual Marketing Conference of our Institute. I believe we all have seen the theme of the Conference – Marketing Nigeria’s Non-Oil Sector for sustainable growth and development.
I do not have any intention to steal the thunder as they say, from the keynote speaker and the discussants. However, I would like to make a few remarks about the theme.
A few people have asked me what is new about the theme. My straightforward answer has been that there is nothing really new about it. For as long as I can remember, we have always talked about the non-oil sector. The sector is also perfunctorily mentioned occasionally, when talking about the international appeal of Nigerian music and Nollywood. The discuss about non-oil sector rises to
feverish levels each time there is a slump in the international price of crude oil. We saw a lot of that during the last recession occasioned largely by the sharp fall in crude oil prices. But, as soon as the prices start rising again, we go back to our old ways of dependence on the single product called crude oil.
Someone also asked me how could we be going to Port Harcourt, Rivers state, which is in the top league of oil producing states and invariably a major beneficiary of the proceeds from crude oil, to be talking about promoting the non-oil sector. Did we not think it through that there could be resentment? I was asked.
I have bad news in response to both questions. The bad news is that oil is fast going out of fashion. It therefore really does not matter any more the quantity of crude oil in reserve or the price per barrel, whether it is going up or coming down. Just like the stone-age ended not because there were no more stones, the oil age is also ending pretty soon and it would not be because there is no more oil.
The big news today is that the world is going for non-oil energy sources. Just some examples will do. A few years back, the electric car concept was like a fantasy. Today, it is a reality with an estimated 3.1 million electric cars already out there on the roads. (By the way, not Nigerian roads, because you actually do need electricity for it). By 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that there will be about 125 million electric cars on the roads. Already in Norway,
39% of new cars sold last year were electric cars. I am aware there was a heated debate recently in the National Assembly about electric cars. My view is that sooner, much sooner than later, it will be clear that we have no option in adopting it. But that is a full debate for another day.
Or do we want to talk about solar energy that is being used to power some whole communities? By end 2015, estimated solar power generated worldwide was 227 GWe. Or is it wind power, geothermal energy, hydrogen fuel cells or natural gas we want to talk about?
The future indeed is here. Continuing to depend on oil is like being on a slippery slope. Therefore the theme of this conference is very germane. We have accordingly assembled some of Nigeria’s finest and brightest from diverse fields to discuss the topic as has never been done before. At the end of the conference, we should have some very clear actionable conclusions and recommendations that are time bound. As with last year’s output, we shall present the summary of outcome to the government, being our contribution as an Institute to policy making.
Once again, I welcome you all to what should be an interesting conference.
Thank you and please enjoy.
Tony Agenmonmen, fnimn
9 May 2019