Monday, March 31, 2008

"Nigeria’s oil reserves will be depleted in 43 years, the shortest reserve life of any OPEC nation, according to a recent report." Source PPPRA.
It appears that Nigeria only has 43 more years to 'enjoy' oil wealth. While this information is enough to send many into a panicked frenzy, the fact that Nigeria's oil has an expiration date in the near future could be a very good thing for the country.

Since the discovery of oil in Olobiri in 1956, Nigeria has arguably experienced an oil curse. It remains a resource laden country that is underdeveloped. For decades, the federal government has relied on oil income to finance the nation. Various non-oil industries like agriculture and textiles have sputtered and died over time. The unjust distribution of oil wealth has resulted in armed Niger Delta militants, some fighting for better treatment of the region's people and others simply using the lack of security for their personal gain. The knowledge that oil will soon become a lost asset could force the government at both state and federal levels to plot out efficient non-oil strategies for development and economic progress for all Nigerians and not just the well-connected. Besides, with the world turning towards 'earth friendly' products as a means of powering and heating the planet, all oil producing countries need to diversify their income-producing 'portfolios', anyway.

To be fair, there are reports that the current administration has big plans to transform the Nigerian economy. Unfortunately, like administrations before this, there is a lot of talk about coming change but limited information on how exactly such government-led change will come about. The Vision 2020 plan continues to be one that many scratch their heads about due to lack of adequate details on what it truly entails. This forces all Nigerians to once again sit back and "siddon look" (look) with no clear understanding of the overall game plan for Nigeria's future. However, the African Finance Corporation, which Soludo has sold as a means to transform Nigeria and indeed the entire African continent into a global financial hub, gives a glimmer of hope in the dark disarray that is government-led plans for the country.

One can only hope that this and other grand schemes will overcome attempts to destroy it from those within and outside Nigeria/Africa. And, all must hope that when that last drop of oil is pumped out of the Nigerian ground 43 or so years from now, the nation, and its people, will be ready with an effective plan to take care of the most populous black country on the planet.

Further reading:
- Nigeria's Oil Expiration Date Draws Near
- No Longer King of African Crude
- Solar Energy Plans
- More Solar Energy Plans
- Could Coal Be A Power Solution For Nigeria?
- Nigeria Is Full of Gas
- Power Blackouts Loom Across Nigeria
- Nigerian Power Scandal: Authority Stealing
- Who Will Develop Nigeria?
- Who Will Develop Nigeria Pt. 2
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16 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

NneomaMD said...

to be honest, my first reaction was like "Oh crap - you can't be serious - we're pretty much screwed" But then I saw your point and remembered others about the oil-curse. However, I am still somewhat on panic mode because I wonder what will be done to prepare for the future shortage because such a predicament could lead to a future like that of Zimbabwe with their chronic oil shortages (but hopefully, minus the dictatorship).

Omodudu said...

This lore has been around since way back. Interestingly I wrote my bachelor paper on Nigeria's energy needs and reserves. I am almost certain that we are okay in the area of oil reserves. This type of report was very common in the 90's too.
But my people lets not talk about the oil curse o. Nigeria without Oil is hmmm pretty much dead.

Jinta said...

vision 2020 is exactly what is is: a vision. i suspect that before the oil runs out, individuals and institutions will position themselves so that they can undertake coups, thereby sucking what is left dry.

Anonymous said...

The discovery of oil, combined with the leadership's lack of mission or vision killed our agriculture and made us lazy and less creative. Even then, how many of us can really say we benefitted from the oil wealth? Just look at Niger Delta, for a good example, to get my point. So, let the oil go, who cares? May be when we are ALL suffering, we may wake up and start thinking "out of the box." Then, just may be, we will create a "revolution" that will finally flush out the IBBs and the OBJs, just may be. Just may be, we will see our common destiny. Any just may be, we will demand and insist on social justice in our society. And just may be, we will finally love our country, Nigeria, for we will then have good reasons to.

Prince Kabir is the Webmaster of and

N.I.M.M.O said...

I agree with Prince K. Let the oil dry up and see what Nigeria will become.

Even before the oil discovery in 56, Nigeria was on its way to greatness and was already recognized as a potential regional power.

Remember the groundnut pyramids, the cocoa, oil palm and other plantations? All these was during self-government by Nigerians in the 50s before flag independence.

We really need to start planning and diversifying the economy however. Somehow, I am not really worried.

I know Nigeria can cope. Oil or no oil.

ababoypart2 said...

I think its 43 years too far. I also dont think Nigeria is seriously considering her next move. I can only see anarchy once the wells dry up.

For the love of me said...

43 years? that's way too far, it should dry up in ten years. Much as I wish it would so we can develop agriculture and textile, I realy do not believe the oil will dry up anytime soon.
I second Jinta, Vision2020 is simply a vision or a dream which dear Yardy will soon wake from.

TheAfroBeat said...

I wait in anticipation. Middle Eastern and North African countries like Saudi, UAE, Libya etc, have started diversifying out of oil like it's going to be gone tomorrow. They're ramping up on their tourism and making sure they become regional clusters of economic excellence (IT, entrepreheurship, workforce, etc) before they wake up one morning (probably 40 years AFTER us) to find their oil is finito.

Let's hope our leaders learn from these not too distant examples and get on the bandwagon.

Moody Crab said...

I do not believe in the whole "oil curse" but that is beside the point of this post.

We don't have to wait till next 43 years for us to take action. We can divisify our economy today from natural resources to human resources (see China) if only the government can help local industries and entrepreneurs. But then we still to high on oil to realize that the clock is SERIOUSLY ticking.

Anonymous said...

This revelation comes with mixed emotions. It's scary and only evokes a bleak thought of how miserable life will be without the black gold, well, unless steps are taken to start investing in our infrastructures and building human resources today.

Everything in life has an end; it's makes 50 years since Nigerian sold the first barrel of crude oil this year. The oil roll will definitely stop one day, and only our descendants will know what happens then.

Watch out for the special feature on the 50th anniversary of Nigeria as an oil state on AfricanLoft/Grandiose Parlor.

Anonymous said...

Did I just see that a reader does not believe in the oil curse? That makes little sense because it has been shown over and over again how abundant resources cause more harm than good.

I wish the oil would be gone tomorrow, maybe that would spark a nerve with Nigerians who just seem willing to get slapped left and right all the time. It seems Nigerians allow themselves to be treated badly by rulers (not leaders) over so many years and are now docile. Anyway, I have no hope that the crop of rulers that country currently has will get their act together. They are too busy looking for ways to pocket more millions.

Aspiring nigerian woman said...

Wonderful news! So shall it be in Jesus name. Let me hear you all say AMEN.

It is about time; let the oil dry up tomorrow. It has brought no benefit to common Nigerians. Nothing is being done, with the existing abundance of oil, so can be assured you that nothing is being done about the future shortage.

When will my people be free from the shackles of poor leaders and politicians? The good news is that I will be alive in 43yrs and I will sure be a force to reckon with, in rebuilding Nigeria (post crude oil).

Beauty said...

Moody Crab said it for me "I do not believe in the whole "oil curse". Natural resources to Human resources = Talent markets. Hollywood understands talent. It may yet be our salvation. Its about our people!

guerreiranigeriana said...

i'm with prince kabir and n.i.m.m.o. on this one...and you too ssd...let the damn oil dry fact, if it could vanish today, even better...then maybe, just maybe we could start reaching towards our potential...the drilling of oil is detrimental to our environment anyway...and the move worldwide towards more environmentally safe power sources-which i support-could and should make oil obsolete in the near future...this post reminds me that i have an environmental health paper, specific to naija, that i need to brush up and try to touches on this and the need to diversify...ssd, you never cease to amaze me!!...

shhhh said...

i wonder which plans will be in place to mitigate the risk

sxe said...

very good article. thanks

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