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Reflex Eco Group – Nigeria news

by Victor Emejuiwe (Local journalist)

Crude Oil is a blessing to any Nation who has possession of it; such a nation could be regarded as a land flowing with milk and honey. Nigeria discovered hers in 1958 at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State thereafter it went off the track. It loosed the basis of its co-existent but became the toast of the world and a bride courting various suitors. Nigeria is the 8th largest producer of crude oil in the world, with an average production of 2million barrel per day. The price of crude oil has fluctuated from $54 per barrel in 2006 to $115 per barrel in 2013 therefore; on the average we could pitch the crude oil price at $90 per barrel within this time frame. Without many hazels, revenue from crude oil flows ceaselessly in Nigeria like living waters that never runs dry; but sadly, I ask, why didn’t we pretend as if there was no crude oil? What if we continue to grow our cocoa, cashews, groundnut, kolanuts, palm oil, cottons, and millets and also export them, just the way we did back then, where Agriculture contributed 70% of our total export and contributes 65% of our GDP? Little wonder an Igbo proverb says, “When a man brings home a new bride, he forgets the old wife”.

What if Oil was not discovered in Oloibiri? It wouldn’t come to the Knowledge of the Northerners that the then Eastern Region is the economy cup-bearer of Nigeria; there wouldn’t have been a civil war. Would the north have insisted that Nigeria remains one and would the Igbo’s feel they have what it takes to stand on their own? There wouldn’t be any need for a fight in the first place. In retrospect, we learnt in the history of Nigeria, that the North, South and the East collectively fought for independence and co-existed in unity with brotherly love. Today we are struggling with that unity that binds us together?

What if Oil was not discovered in Oloibiri? Former Military president Olusegun Obasanjo wouldn’t have declared openly to the whole world that Nigeria’s problem is not money but how to spend it. Doesn’t it look like the idiom “a fool and his money”? Or ant invested wood inviting the lizards for dinner? I think we wouldn’t have had so many foreign countries dictating to Nigeria on how to spend its money, or telling it what to do with its currency.

What if Oil was not discovered in Oloibiri? Nigeria would have based its revenue generation projection from different sectors of the economy other than crude oil. The economy wouldn’t be tilted to just oil, the downward fluctuation in the price of crude oil would not be enough to put the economy to a standstill, and there wouldn’t be any argument on resource control or depravity in derivation fund, from oil communities.

What about oil theft and militancy? What about inequality between the rich and the poor, what about the massive corruption that exist amongst government officials and politicians? If oil was not discovered in Oloibiri there wouldn’t have been news of just one corporation (NNPC) stealing 13billion dollars in six years. (NEITI REPORT 2013)

Now that oil was discovered in Oloibiri, can we revive agriculture? Can we now live in Unity? Can we try to manage our economy professionally? Don’t we need to diversify our revenue generation to include; Manufacturing, Science and Technology, Entertainment and Agriculture?

Now that oil is discovered in Oloibiri, how do we stop Militancy? How do we stop NNPC from uncontrolled theft? I think the first thing to do is, like William Shakespeare, rather than Kill all the Lawyers. Let them lead us back to basics.