Greetings from lockdown.
Following the spread of the COVID19 pandemic in Nigeria, our emergency response team at Ardova Plc, led by me, put in place a focused response program designed to minimise organisational impact and do our part in flattening the disease’s growth curve in the country. These efforts can be summarised along three key themes:
- Safeguarding our people & customers
- Empowering our communities to fight the disease
- Business continuity & delivering customer needs
Safeguarding our people and customers
As soon as news of the global spread of the disease was communicated, we immediately took pre-emptive measures of ensuring thermal scanning and escalated hygiene practices for all employees, visitors and customers at all our operational locations.
Once the index case in Nigeria was confirmed, we commenced intense monitoring of the spread of the disease. Once the growth curve crossed our internally benchmarked threshold, we transitioned to remote work as a means of increasing social distance. This transition occurred before the Federal and Lagos State Government mandated lockdown began.
Being an energy provider means we have to remain operational during the lockdown, as transport fuels, lubricants, and cooking gas are essential to everyday life for Nigerians.
As such, we have heightened safety & hygiene standards at all our facilities: staff at our retail stations, lubricants. and chemical plants have been provided with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to ensure that they are protected while getting their jobs done.
Empowering our communities to fight the disease
We are living in scary and uncertain in times but what is clear is eliminating that defeating the pandemic requires all of us being involved; as government, businesses and communities, all hands must be on deck.
As part of an industry-wide effort, Ardova Plc has donated N50 million to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) collective industry fund, via the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN). This fund was instituted to upgrade at least one hospital and build an isolation centre.
In our own firm, we have also donated solar energy systems to isolation centres in Lagos and Abuja to ensure that patients and medical personnel in these facilities do not experience interrupted power supply. We have also donated fuels to power isolation centres and pandemic nerve centres in Lagos State.
We are also working with our CSR partners, Five Cowries Initiative, to make donations to community focused causes, as part of our efforts to support the most vulnerable; most particularly the children in the neighbourhoods in which we have operations.
Business continuity & delivering customer needs
At present, all non-operational employees are working from their homes, in observance of the social distancing measures required to curb the spread of this pandemic. Our foresight in setting up business continuity frameworks for unprecedented circumstances such as this, means we are presently experiencing near-zero impediments to our operational efficiency.
Ardova Plc remains committed to supplying the energy needs of our customers during this period, and our stations remain open to provide them with fuels, lubricants and cooking gas.
We fully support the Federal Government’s efforts to remove petrol subsidy for the downstream, as it will allow subsidy money to be re-allocated to areas that truly benefit the broader population and have more impact on our development as a nation.
A new world post COVID-19
I appreciate the lockdowns have not been easy and have taken mental and socio-economic toll, especially to less privileged members of society. The shared optimism and global united front to fight COVID-19 signals the resilience of the human spirit during these uncertain times.
At this time, we must commend the private initiatives that have sprung up across the nation to take care of the most vulnerable. Let us not forget to look out for each other, especially the less privileged in our midst. When some semblance of normalcy returns, we all must continue what we started in this unparalleled time; the work of building a socially inclusive world.
This collective effort signals to me that this period too will pass, and we will begin the path to both social and economic recovery. We assure our shareholders, partners, customers and other stakeholders that we are well-positioned to respond to the changes in the business environment and we will continue to deliver our products and services at the highest levels of safety, integrity and operational excellence.
When the crisis is over, some things will never be the same, but I pray Nigeria comes through stronger, more introspective and wiser. Ardova Plc will be ready then, as we are now, to power the brave new world that emerges.
Chief Executive Officer