erroneous belief that relevance of oil approximates to the life span of
Nigeria’s oil reserves partially fuels the contentment with which the
authorities treat diversification of the economy.
over dependence of the economy on oil raged more than three decades ago.
Now the issue is total dependence on oil, yet the matter is discussed
as one of several issues beleaguering Nigeria.
oil is about the only issue that makes and mars Nigeria with a rapacity
that is lost on Nigerian leaders. Nigeria is mostly about oil and its
depleting consequences on developing national resources, some of which
are in more abundance and could provide more multiplier effects on the
economy than oil.
Oil devastates with a rapidity few enterprises
impose on its surroundings. The billions of Dollars it heaves into
national coffers kills thoughts for the perpetual penury its exploration
ordains for the surroundings. Agitations for equitable use of oil
resources fail in securing renewal of the ruined environment.
more frightening, with all the positions on laying more solid
foundations for the economy, away from the volatility of oil, not much
has been done in more than 40 years oil assumed podium position in our
Oil could become irrelevant quicker than the most
optimistic predictions. Its damages to the environment, its
unpredictable high prices that task planning, even for the most advanced
economies, the West’s inability to control the vital resource, are
increasing the pace of searches for alternatives to oil. America is
making advances in this direction.
Plans for the Nigerian economy
are primed on oil. They would have been as simple as re-investing some
oil revenue in other sectors of the economy. They have remained
According to the World Bank’s Nigeria Economic
Report for May 2013, “Despite the recovery in oil prices, Nigeria
expanded its fiscal stimulus significantly, increasing consolidated
spending by an estimated 2.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, GDP,
and drawing down the remaining balance of the Excess Crude Account at
the same time that many other oil exporters were building back their
Oil still accounts for 95 per cent of exports and 75
per cent of consolidated budgetary revenues. Its mismanagement throws
the economy into a spin. When the prices dip, or more thieves help
themselves to the oil, as seems to be the case now, the economy wheels
almost to a halt.
Conferences have drawn attention to the
precariousness of oil-based economy in the past years. They have ended
without the authorities taking the economy away from the grip of oil.
Without a thorough planning of the economy, an indiscernible future
awaits Nigerians. Our governments should rescue Nigerians from the
blight of oil.