NIGERIA! Now that the proceeds from oil have abruptly run dry, it is time for us Nigerians to wake up from our slumber and face up to the position we should have occupied in Africa albeit globally. It is disheartening to hear people speculate on when oil prices will return to levels that will rescue our national debt.
This will not happen. Barring a war of global proportions that would superficially escalate the price of oil, that era of high prices is over. Oil and gas, just like every other industry follows the simple laws of demand and supply.
It is not the classical high supply with low demand. Presently, the countries that hitherto imported oil have turned producers/suppliers. Consumers have turned into suppliers. A situation that has given rise to a glut in the market.
Our founding fathers would cringe to discover how little we have advanced after so many years compared to the progress they made in so few years. It is disheartening to live in such an age where mediocrity is a height that is a feat to attain.
Recurrent expenditure is at an all-time high while Gross National Income (GNI) is at an all-time low when measured against the population index.
The problem is quite simple for the economists out there: When you have single export economies such as Venezuela, Angola, and Nigeria that are overly dependent on oil to the detriment of development in other sectors, the crash is inevitable. We are at that point.
The solution, though, is also just as simple: We need to cut our losses. carry out a resource optimization exercise; diversify into local processing of selected natural resources.
The top natural resources for possible diversification in Nigeria include:
Natural Cocoa Butter
Crude Palm Kernel oil
The primary Nigerian national product for export is still crude oil (note: not refined…methane, diesel, Jet A-1, petrol, etc more on this later).