I am from an oil-bearing community in Abia state. In spite of my status as an ''oil producer'' (LMFAO), I make bold to say that oil has been a curse rather than a blessing to Nigeria.
What is you opinion?
I am from an oil-bearing community in Abia state. In spite of my status as an ''oil producer'' (LMFAO), I make bold to say that oil has been a curse rather than a blessing to Nigeria.
What is you opinion?
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Oil by itself cannot be a curse or a blessing. The difference between those two is made by the decisions of people. Lots of those exploiting the oil deposits in Nigeria are eager to get maximal profits during the short period of time. They can nothing for the ecology or the future. The problem is not in the heart of the land, but rather is in the hearts of the people living on it and using its resources.
The United States Congress’s Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission heard a testimony about the negative environmental impacts of oil operations in the Niger Delta; including those of multinational oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell in the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta.
This was my essay topic and from all indications, it is a blessing which turned to a curse which I come to term "Nigeria's Petroleum: A Natural Resource or a Natural Disaster", this was the title of my paper.
Alot of factors played into why it became a curse. Moreover, the "Economic Theory of Development" argues that states with adundant natural resources esp. rentier economies of which Nigeria is a prime example underdevelop compared with states with little or no natural resources. This I found to be true. However, if u find it otherwise, then critically examine how the political economy of that country is structured.
Dear my fellow comrade, oil is not a curse rather ablessing, a promise from God to his choosen ones- the jews. But because we are mixed up with those we are not supossed to mingle with, it was from there we began to experience some difficulties. If u can immagine what is hapning prasently in the middle Easth, u will not mistakenly conclude the case of the Ndigbos. But surely i promise that one day althese will become a tell of the past. It may not be now but i know that it must surely come to be- the period when Nigerians must deposite thier passports b4 they will be alowed to enter to merry with us- the choosen ones. History, surely must bear us witness.
Oil is not a curse to Nigeria. Our Federal Socialist system is the curse. States with oil should only pay a percentage of sales to the Federal government. States that do not have oil should look and work for other sources of revenue. Spreading of wealth in our federal system has made most states to be reluctant in looking inwards for sources of revenue since the federal oil allocation is there to be shared.
This is the reason the north which was once an agricultural giant region do not see agriculture as a viable source of income anymore. There is too much power within the federal government in area of resource control that have made states to wait for federal allocation before any project can be carried out.
I do not blame the states because in the south, if they use their internally generated revenue to develop their states then the federal government will go on a development spree in the north in a bid to bring equality of development without remembering that all states has the wherewithal to generate their own income.
The northerners that are killing southerners doing business in the north will have a rethink if they know that they need tax from those southerners as a source of income too. They will be able to protect businesses and people knowing that it is in the financial interest of the state.
The percentage of oil sold that is paid to the federal government should only be used to Maintain the Defence forces, Police, Judiciary and Legislative arm of the government, every other schedule shall be within the power of an individual state to finance from their internally generated revenue.
This scenario will set the pace for economic competition within states and eventualy a well developed Nigeria. Nigeria is a bad concotion put together by the British and as long as we do not encourage individual developments we will still be where we are till the end of the universe.
We can not deny the instituted racism and sectionalism in our federal system, the only way we can get out of this is to use that which is already visible and turn it to our own advantage and that will be providing a system where there will be racial and sectional race to economic development.
For those who will come here to tell me how silly my idea is, I think is better to have an idea than come out here, say that oils is a curse and go to bed.
We don’t need more transparency.
A new group of well intention academicians who want to help those countries blessed with natural resources to transform these in development and wealth for their citizens has recently been created. This group will summarize its conclusions in something named “The Natural Resource Charter”.
Just like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, one of its guiding principles is that helping make more transparent the information of the origin and destiny of the funds obtained from the natural resources, will make the citizens request better results. Forget it!
We Venezuelans do not need more transparency to be absolutely sure that we are anchored in an infamous oil feudalism where or feudal lord on duty keeps all the seeds and shares out what is left or what he has digested. More transparency would be like the tortured clamoring for their rights to also be seeing how they extract their fingernails.
We Venezuelans do not need more transparency to be absolutely sure that the most we can expect substituting for the feudal lord on duty with another from the same tribe of the getoutoftheway-toplacemyselfs is that he will hopefully do just what the previous did a little bit better, though always running the risk he will do it worse.
We Venezuelans do not need more transparency to be absolutely sure that our lives are wasted fighting among each other for a share in our own net oil results, wallowing in a sort of eternal piñata at the feet of the benevolent on duty who distractedly observes us with a sarcastic smile.
We Venezuelans do not need more transparency to be absolutely sure that instead of a feudal system that administers our own net oil results we need a normal government that governs our country.
We Venezuelans do not need more transparency to be absolutely sure that we are much better off trusting each one of us a little, instead of trusting a chief so much that we elevated him to be our feudal lord.
In conclusion we Venezuelans do not need the slightest bit of more transparency to be absolutely sure that what we most need is the strength and will to free ourselves from this feudal oil state in which we are trapped by requesting they give us our oil results directly, so that we can plant them… instead of discussing so many stupidities and believing in so many pregnant birds.
Translated from “El Universal” Caracas, Venezuela, April 9 2009.
Oil is surpose to be a blessing, only the people that are and have been in charge of the revenues flowing out of the sale of oil has turned oil into a curse for the average Nigerian.
Those Nigerians who think that because Nigeria is rich in crude oil, they do not have to lift their hands anymore to earn a living will also see oil as a curse, when it eventually dawns on them that they're not profiting from the oil.
Further, me thinks it's what we do or not do with the oil that matters.
There was life in Nigeria before oil, and there will always be life after oil.
To say that oil has been a blessing to Nigeria, but that the way we manage it is a curse is simply equivocating, or even begging the question.
We know that oil could not have managed itself for us to consider it a blessing, the question is in the contex of all the extranous factors surrounding naija that makes the benefit from oil less beneficial or even inimical to our existence as a nation.
Once again, I use the fire example: a skilled hand uses fire to maximum advantage, while the unskilled fellow uses fire disastrously.
Since we cannot seperate fire from the user, our analysis then becomes from the contex of the user, so we can say that fire was an advantage for the skilled user and a disadvantage for the unskilled user.
Insisting that fire like oil is a blessing save for the unskilled nature of the user is simply making circular arguement endlessly.
The question is whether oil as we see it, manage it, and "enjoy" it has done us more harm than good, not whether we could have managed it better.
Oil is an added blessing to all the nations that process it but that is if it is well managed and the nation does not solely depend on it.if u look at most of the oil rich countries u see that the money is never in public circulation.It goes to only a few people therebye making them to buy the others with a little sum(that is the beginning of corruption)what we need for naija na industrialisation.
Nigeria should take nations like Turkey and USA as an example.Turkey isn't an OPEC or oil producing nation but they face the development of industries and exportation of it product.USA have more oil reserve and produces more Oil than Nigeria but they don't depend on it.they face industrialisation also.
THE BLESSING A NATION HAVE IS IT PEOPLE.So we need the development of our human resources.which is we Nigerians.
So let thank God we have oil in Nigeria as "an added blessing" and pray that God give us a good leader that we optimally manage our added blessing.if anyone says it a curse then let them go and live in Malawi,Somalia,Congo,Comoros,Uganda to mention few http://www.aneki.com/poorest.html
no be my pickin O! His parents are both Africans really pretty couple.
By the way, Osereka do you have some cursed Crude Oil in your area so that you can will it to me and my generations so that we can help you bear the curse. Because the way I dey look things, oil no boku for my own Edo State.
'twas at a friend's place in Benin City. There was a clothes hanger above me. Right now I wish I had an Okrika shed.
Anyway, back to Crude Oil, if it's a curse, then people should go to "Mountain of Fire and Miracles" to transfer the curse on me and my generations. The more the merrier. Come one, come all.
hey, stop that thngs u are saying.
OIL AS FAR AS AM CONCERN IS A BLESSING TO US. IS JUST THAT, THE PEOPLE THAT IS THERE IS NOT USING IT PROPERLY TO BENEFITS US. SIMPLE.!
SOME COUNTARY IS LOOKING FOR THIS KINDS, SO GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR THE RESOURCES.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SAYING THAT WHEN YOU GIVE THANKS TO GOD, U ARE NOT JUST THANKING HIM U ARE EQUALLY TELLING HIM THINGS THAT NEEDED TO BE PERFECTED! SO WHEN WE GIVE THANKS IT WILL BE TO US AS WE WANT IT
It's not whether it can match or it cannot match. Yar'Adua is trying to make every state self sufficint so that we can move to a Federal Economy where everybody has full resource control and an independent economy, from there we can finally move towards having a truly Federal Government, not this gimmick we currently have that we are claiming as FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
Even the states that don't have Oil, the Ministry of Solid Minerals is working on what they have and bringing in Mining Corporations. So thas is not a competition at all.
make I use opportunity post another p[icture jare, e don tey since I go through my pitures. Na me been fine like this? Suffer bad O!
That Abia oil is fake,they can,t even match Delta state, the second largest oil producer,talk less of Rivers state.OLY-D=XRIS74 The same fool who made this topic in the first place.if oil is a curse to Xris74/Oly-D why are you rejoicing with Abia state? hypocrisy.oil so overrated.how about fish.
thanks magneto and osereka. I'm just saying what I know.
why do you think Baba is going slow? Any rapid development in any African Country will warrant a visit from Sir Mark Thatcher and his gang of Coupists because the more an African Country developes, the more it uses up its own resources and the less there is for our Masters who only see us as their nation's Common Wealth (Ordinary Property). When I become president, I will not shine too bright lest the USA do to me what they did to Patrice Lumumba. I will move this country at an OBJ-ish pace and I will let most of the credit go to Ministers and other Government officials so that anybody who doesn't like the progress my administration makes can go and kill them instead.
just came online to remove my pictures from Yahoo Photos. There's me with my ex-Boss' beautiful lil' baby Zino
It is difficult to say if oil is a curse or blessing to Nigeria. There is a term called RESOURCE CURSE. what it simply means is that most countries that are richly blessed with mineral reosurces are usually ranked as the poorest in the world. The paradox therefore is that the resources that are supposed to make these countries rich turns out to be the bane of the devt. of such countries.
Before oil became a great deal in Nigeria, people could work and earn honest living. There was a great belief in the dignity of labour. infrastructures were very good; there may have mbeen few roads, but they weren't death traps for the people. what is the use of having 1000 roads whose integrity are questionable and snuffs out life from citizens on a daily basis anyway?
The question is not how much we had in our foreign reserve then and how much we have now. the question should what is the quality of life of nigerians now vis-a-vis what was obtainable then? how does the amount in our foreign reserve reflect in the state of our tertiary institutions today? what about our health institutions? things are gradually falling apart and the center grappling seriously to hold them together.
Enough of the preambles. oil in itself is not a curse. it is the type of leadership we have had that is cursed and therefore made oil a curse to Nigeria. God in His wisdom gave the resource to us to be a blessing. However, rather than always blaming developed world and accusing them of trying to deceive us in order to take "our oil" let us begin to seriously think of how we can collectively reverse the resource curse and make oil the blessing God intended it to be. We can begin by stop being very insultive and try to be a bit matured in our analysis of issues on this forum rather than always picking on individuals whose opinions we don't agree with!
Of course the war will soon be extended to nigeria for the sake of oil,soon america will be sending their special forces to guide the oil wells and reserves without any rule change on how the people are treated,the war has already started,it is just the beginning.The people are aware,they want a part of what belongs to them,when i mean the people,i mean the whole country.Either you live or you die,you don't have to live if you can't.Life is not for the weak,it is for the fittest,natural selection.
Oil is a blessing,but the management is cursed,it is like exposing a dried fish to a hungry rat, not even a smart rat,because a smart rat saves for a rainy day.Give nigeria oil reserve 10 to 20 years all is gone,the world consumption of oil is at a very high pace,with china's emancipation ,of every barrel of oil produce world wide,six is consumed.What will nigeria do without the blackgold with little or no technological knowhow and lack of industries?We suppose to use oil to develop,buy technology and catapult ourselves form the middle age that we are in presently to the 21st century world,just like China.This is the age of information,possibilities at our fingertips.
God is not going to do anything for us. Or do you still think it was God who killed Abacha and gave Abiola tea?
If you want to get something done, you have to do it. The first thing is to let every country round the world to know that they will gain nothing by destabilising Nigeria. Nothing! We are already beginning to produce our own weapons ourselves, and we will consciously shut down 2 million barrels of Crude Oil supply to the world and everybody will suffer, no one will gain.
Secondly, when people like Magareth Thatcher's son are caught in Africa red-handed trying to effect a Military Coup and start a Civil War, the AU most prevent countries like South Africa from freeing them for small fines. Countries like Nigeria which spend the most to end Civil Wars all around Africa should seize such people and publicly behead them. So that Europeans will know that you can't just throw an entire African Country into Civil War or Military Rule simply because you want to buy resources cheaply.
Those that cannot be caught redhanded but are suspected of financing Military Coups, selling weapons to War Torn Countries or Cashing in on the Resources of War Torn Countries should be tracked down in their countries and given Abiola tea or Abacha apple and Viagra overdose.
Then the AU should always put together a massive Armed Unit to eradicate any militant group engaged in warfare for the sole purpose of selling their country's resources to foreigners at cheap rates. Eg our MEND.
African countries should stop exporting their resources as raw materials. Anybody who is interested in our resources must export them as Processed goods. Therefore no cheap resource seeker can start a war in Africa because their own factories will be destroyed. If Shell and TotalFinaElf each had 4 major refineries in Nigeria, they never would have wanted Nigeria to be caught up in a Civil War.
That is how we start utilising our resources better. Doing what needs doing.
Not by calling on God.
I'm afraid I cannot continue any further in this discussion. I have things to think about and people to call. I can't waste valuable call credit in educating the ineducable.
Whe somebody is telling me that the Roads, Schools, Houses and Electricity acquired with Groundnut and Cocoa money is what is sustaining us till today, then I know there is serious mental decay in this forum.
Go to Isale Eko and see the houses and Streets that were constructed pre-Crude Oil, then compare those with the ones on the Marina that were built post-Crude Oil. Or you can even compare them with those in Abuja.
The bloody railway you keep mentioning, it was constructed as a makeshift structure. Have you ever travelled on the railway from Kano to Lagos? For your information, I have. And I suggest the Government should dismantle those rails and ship them back to England.
The only reasonable thing you've mentioned since you stepped onto this thread is TAXATION. It makes people hold their government accountable. But what do you suggest? We abandon our main source of income and start taxing what?
When you want to tax, it is still from Crude Oil that the larger percentage of taxation will come. What the government (which includes us) have to do is to relinquish the ownership of the Crude Oil to the people of the vicinity. But because the structures of resource control and a Federated Economy has not been part of our system and culture for the past 100 years, it is difficult to implement in overnight.
If we divest Resources to the individuals who have it on their land right now, there will be massive chaos.
If the Government had not stepped in to develop Crude Oil in Nigeria, do you think we could have done it ourselves?
There is Gold and Uranium in Nigeria, how come we have not explored them ourselves on a massive scale? The Government has to still take up monopoly of all these other resource and develop them with partner companies before all resource can be handed down to the people for onward taxation of proceeds.
Even then, there will be communal clashes for another 10 years on who really owns what resources. Whose house is on top of a Goldmine and whose is just nearby.
The problem with Nigeria is not any Crude Oil curse. The problem is the system of Government imposed on us by foreigners.
Who started Military Rule in Nigeria? Who was our first Military Ruler/Dictator some of you will say it is this and that. What about Frederick Lugard?
Who enacted the subsidy of everything in Nigeria including water, fuel and Pilgrimage? Subsidies that were not in place during their half decade of colonial rule.
That's why someone is saying Public Education has gotten worse. When you don't know what percentage of Nigerians were educated in 1965 and the University structures and numbers in place back then. And if the Public Education System in not to your level, is it not the same you who will fight against privatising it? Why don't you even school at a Private University and quit whining? Or has the Crude Oil Curse prevented you from attending a Private University too?
Who introduced an Absolute Centralised Government in Nigeria? Before the British Colonization, South Eastern Nigeria had its Oligarchies, where no single man can wake up in the morning and destine the lives of the entire population.
Northern Nigeria (except for Maiduguri) was running a perfectly Federated Government. Each Emirate acted independently and only consulted with the Sultan for advice and remitted a percentage of taxes to the Sultan of Sokoto.
The British came in and introduced Military Rule and an Authoritarian Centralised Government headed by a Dictator. All Resource in Nigeria were declared property of The Crown. Our Federation Account was operated by The Crown who saw it fit to tax Fulani Cattle, Ijaw Fish and Palm Oil. Our Federation Account that the British used to fight their European Tribal Wars I & II.
I have been asking and nobody has told me how many billion Pounds we made for 70 years of being the world top Cocoa, Groundnut and Palm Oil producer. Please somebody riddle me this.
It is that system that has put Nigeria where it is today.
Oil has just made Equatorial Guinea the second richest country per capita. And what do the British do? They send Sir Mark Thatcher, Jeffrey Archer and du Toit to go and initiate a Coup in Equatorial Guinea so that they can go in there and buy 100 barrels of Crude Oil at the cost of 1 AK-47. Then they will tell the Guineans that it is the Crude Oil that is their curse. Even as these British Military Government installers, Coup Plotters and Civil War Financiers are caught red-handed, Africans will still be saying we're under a Resource Curse.
Sierra Leonean civil war was sponsored by diamond dealers in Switzerland (the most peaceful country in the world) an CNN was making documentaries to con the Sierra Leoneans into accepting that their diamonds are a curse.
Again, I would like to ask how many tonnes of Beans, Cassava, Yam, Tomatoes, Pepper, Millet, Sorghum, Plantain, Maize and Melon we were producing during our so-called Agricultural BOOM.
Perhaps most of you think that the British came to Kano to meet Groundnut Pyramids.
The Colonial government used taxation to drive food crop farmers from their farms to farming what the British wanted to export to factories in Britain.
If you farm Cassava, you pay a 40% tax. If you decide to abandon your Cassava to farm Palm Oil which is what the Masters want, you get to pay a 20% tax and a boss is imposed on you in your own farm to supervise and account.
If you decide to quit farming altogether, you pay a 15% community tax or a 10% housing tax for the mud shack you Grandfather built. Therefore you were forced to return to farm Palm Oil under a Master on your own farm.
Same thing if you farm Melon, you will soon be converted into a Cotton farmer.
If you didn't have any solid day job, a levy will still be imposed on you so that you either start building a railway or road that leads from the Farm Depots to the Ports from which they will ship off the Produce to Britain. If there are no openings in rail or road construction, you either become a human donkey for transporting goods from the farms to the depots or from the rails to the Ports.
If no job there, you join the Army and fight the Germans so that you can earn enough to pay your taxes to The Crown.
Because most of the farmers had been driven from their Beans, Cassava, Plantain, Melon, Maize, Onion, Yam, Tomatoes and Pepper farms, these commodities became very scarce and thus expensive.
Immediately the British abandoned Nigeria and went to source for it's Agricultural raw materials elsewhere due to the German blockade of West Africa, the Nigerian Cocoa, Groundnut, Palm and Cotton farmers didn't have any market to export to and therefore returned their farms to the production of Yam, Cassava, Beans, Tomatoes, Pepper, Maize, Rice, and even Poultry.
If you calculate the entire volume of Agricultural goods produced in Nigeria today, and the entire Agricultural goods produced in 1967, today is more. Far more. It's just that we're not producing what another nation wants us to export to them. We're producing what we need. If anybody wants to export what we're producing for ourselves, good. If not, then that's their business. Nigeria recently became the largest producer of Cassava in the world overtaking Brazil from where Cassava was originally introduced to Nigeria. Now we're exporting it to Britain and China yet no one has applauded. Nigeria just broke the cycle of Poultry importation and is now about the highest Poultry exporter to the rest of Africa. Nobody said anything.
Must we completely turn ourselves to a foreign country's Farm before we'll be appreciated.
Do we start massive production of Palm Oil when there is no extra demand for it in the world?
The British consciously and with great premeditation, moved their Plantations out of Nigeria during their war with Germany. They are not coming back. If we tripple our Palm production today, the only thing that will happen is that Palm Oil prices will crash to one third its current prices and farmers worldwide including Nigeria will run down.
If we double our Cocoa production, Brazil and Ivory Coast will have economic decline due to low prices. Cadbury will buy Cocoa for half the price worldwide and still sell Chocolates at the very same prices. Farmers in Ibadan will gather their Cocoa and set them ablaze as they usually do.
Have you people never asked yourselves why that happens? Why Cocoa farmers burn they Cocoa during some years rather than sell. And you want us to produce more. So that this time around, the prices will go so low that the farmers will not only set their Cocoa Ablaze, they will go home and set their entire families ablaze.
We really suffered. Our Grandparents were shipped off to Burma to fight Germans who we previously had never met just because they wanted to pay taxes owed to The Crown. Taxes paid for being a Nigerian under British Protection. Need I tell you that most of these honest pay seeking Nigerian soldiers that went to the war in Burma very few could afford to come back because the Government provided free transportation for them to get to the warfront, but after that, you're on your own.
Well, considering all this I think we were faring quite well.
The Question am still asking is: HOW MANY BILLION POUNDS WAS IN OUR FEDERATION ACCOUNT AND OUR FOREIGN RESERVES AFTER MORE THAN 70 YEARS OF BEING A TOP AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS EXPORTER IN THE WORLD? HOW MANY BILLION POUNDS?
If you cannot place a single billion pounds in the Nigerian Federation Account during the Agricultural BOOM, then please, forever hold your PISS!
First and foremost, Seun, why don't we get notifications anymore? It is kind of frustrating for me to have to guess whether or not someone has responded to my post. It used to help in the past. Even the RSS feeds helped in the past as well. Please look into these.
The problem with oil and naija is akin to the proverb, "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail to you".
On another note, someone up top implied that without oil, pple would have nothing to eat. Isn't that a blanket statement? Is okpenkulu from Mbanu chopping oil money? If so, why is he still tying that old wrapper and riding on that black bicycle left to him by his great-grandfather? It is in the hands of a few. If everyone indeed had something to eat as the writer posted, why is there MASSOB?
Look at dubai. I don't know if it has a lot of oil but from my readings, I can tell that they are starting NOW to diversify by coming up with numerous tourist attractions. Look at Norway, I believe. They sell their fuel for $7 a gallon. Yet they save that money for their citizens who are guaranteed a good retirement. They take advantage of the black gold.
Upon all the oil we have, we can't even provide constant electricity. Yet, countries we provide electricity to haven't had a blackout in years. I just watched a Ghanaian movie. I was stunned at the development of a country we used to laugh at in the 80s. Sure, it is possible that the movie is showing the good parts of town. I will say this though, when I watch Naija movies, they show the same aerial view with that tall white building. In the Ghanaian movie, they showed the streets, houses, etc. Made me want to visit the place.
Until we effectively utilize our oil revenues (build *solid* roads, have constant electricity, workers get paid on time, constant water supply, we have a national airline that we are proud of, I don't have to sleep like a cat when I visit Naija cos of fear of being robbed, I don't have to send money home to relatives. Should I go on?), the crude oil will remain a curse.
Remember, prior to the discovery of crude, Nigeria was surviving via Agric exports. Once the oil came in, it was the typical, "teach a man to fish". We go lazy overnight. Now, we have white people in states like Kwara growing the food we should be growing. All we want to do is do white-collar job when in truth, if you put your minds to it and dump the ego and pride, it is the blue-collar guy that stands to make more money.
As always, my 2 cents.
I appreciate your kind words, my sometimes incoherent writing is an attempt to summarize my gleanings from different well informed sources on the issue. I am still on a path of discovery myself as to why our nation has persistently failed to live up to its potential.
As for my previous opening statement, what I meant to say is that Oil inadvertently gave us a reason to remain as a nation, when other differences and disagreements would have otherwise led to our breakup.
Whether this continued existence or 'united Nigeria drive' is one borne out of genuine love, or simply a case of a bag of goodies too good to be left behind as exemplified by the greed of many political office holders is still undecided at this point. One thing is sure - when creation of a nation is something foisted on a diverse group of people without any real input from them, we are bound to find ourselves in the present chaos sooner or later. The greater tragedy would be to refuse to address the underlying issues as to what basis we exist as a union and what we can expect from each other as constituent groups - whether as geo-political zones, tribal kingdoms or states.
I disagree that "oil has inadvertently given us a reason to be in the same nation " because Oil was found after the Nigerian experiment was created/designed.
I agree and fully appreciate your erudite presentation on the state of the Nigerian system. I have always wondered why things are 'backwards in naija' Your write up helps a lot, thanks.
Oil has inadvertently given us a reason to be in the same nation, whether that is the most suitable position for the constituent units of Nigeria is up for discussion in a separate location.
Going back to your point on the 'states' - those entities are states in name only, they were 'created' by the (once again) benevolent Federal Government. They seek 'take off grants' and special 'developmental assistance' from the government. If the states are a creation of the center, how will they not be dependent on it for sustenance?
All the other 'Federations' - the US, Canada and others, evolved as a result of individual pseudo-independent states deciding to join the union, not the center creating the divisions. This backward way we went about developing our Federation, coupled with our own cultural draw backs comprise the crux of the Nigerian problem, not oil, not cocoa, not religion, but the basis of the 'union' itself.
Antagonism was there in the early sixties, before the oil boom became anything of note, we were still at each other's throats, killing and maiming, the 'Wild Wild West' debacle comes to mind, and the intrigues and back-stabbings that went on in our politics. In brief summary, this led to military intervention and the creation of a strong center to ensure the unity of the country. This strong center (obviously prone to abuse) has led to the weakening of whatever structures existed regionally and thus is the crux of the problem, not any one resource. It happens to be oil now, it could easily be anything else.
The corruption stems from your 'local'/'grassroots' level people not holding their officers/elected candidates accountable, rather, they blame everything on the powers that be and on the 'people in Abuja'. If the leaders were held accountable by their followers, then we would not be in the mess we are in, instead we see praise singing and wild adulation for people who have stolen billions of your resources and impoverished you. just because you feel you can curry favor and get something from them.
The struggle for oil only made the units more dependent on the central government, that dependency was actually in-built; when the center determines what partitions are made, what do you expect but dependency?
We are not loosely bound, if not for the almighty Federal government, there would be no states as are in existence today. They owe their existence to the Federal government, and as long as the political leaders in the federating units do not get themselves sorted out and begin to implement the constitution as it is written, they will inevitably continue to run cap in hand to the center.
and lets make it clear once again - all the 'developed economies' that you talk about, not a SINGLE one of them depends on exporting agricultural produce to survive. that economic mindset is partly what got us in the mess we are in another throwback to the rose tinted lenses remembering the 'good old days' , producing raw materials for others to use alone, while not developing and improving our capacity to make those finished products.
There is no way a man would share his resources among his 36 children without generating discontent, naturally.
The issue of inequity and corrupt revenue allocation is a topic for another day.
Whether you believe in taxation or not, there is no question that a true democracy begins at the local level and spreads up to the federal level, people agree to form and maintain a federation, and not a federation agrees to maintain a people. The Nigerian experiment is that we are loosely bound at the federal level with each state scrambling for as much of the oil money as they can get.
That's not right, and that's not stable either.
Without oil, these states or regions would have been more self sufficient, productive, less antagonistic toward each other, and certainly less corrupt.
Now with oil, people found that it pays better to wait for and struggle for federal money than to plant cocoa, palm tree, or ground nut.
Excellent diction as usual, but I respectfully disagree that the discovery of oil, management of oil, and revenue sharing from oil has not done us more harm than good.
OIL in itself is not a curse
mismanagement and the seemingly 'free money' aspect is the cause of the problems.
and for those who always romantically remember the past, I have a caveat
1 Many of the so called structures that we so fondly remember were colonially built, very few were done by us locally so the rot just took a while to appear, things were not necessarily better in the 'good old days' the rot had begun, but was in its infancy
Oil is not the cause of the 'top to bottom' thing you're talking about, there are 2 causes
1. long military rule with its established tradition of top ordering the bottom and the bottom MUST comply
2. traditional systems and practices which have a culture of worshipping the king/ruler and dependence on his benevolence
Democracy is alien to us for the most part, the lack of properly developed structures to nurture the democracy is a major issue
people still make comments like 'people are hungry' or 'we no get anything' - implying this expectation of government benevolence and provision. That is not how other nations developed. The populace took it upon themselves to work hard.
I am not absolving the government of responsibility or blame, but the issue you are trying to neatly package as the 'curse of oil' is one that springs up from a plethora of different origins/root causes.
2. the Lagos Ibadan expressway, the refineries, the 'flyovers' in Lagos and all that came from oil money, lack of proper maintenance and planning has caused us to be in the sorry mess that we are in.
Oil in itself is not a curse, I prefer having oil than having foreign aid bodies dictate what shirt I should wear and what brand of rice they are donating to me.
And to the 'getting our oil for cheap prices thing, that is just another load of bollocks, the oil is sold at the same price, be it from the Us gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Indonesia or from the Persian gulf.
For a 20 year oil insider to make comments like that is to continue to foster this impression that the oil companies are the cause - they pay over 80% of the income from the sale of oil as petroleum profits tax and royalties, we fritter away the money and then go back and blame the oil companies again. what mental laziness and buck passing!
naijaking the 'developed' democracies developed based on exports and cheap imports from the early 19th century with a productive base established on extractive industries, then transmuted into manufacturing, this tax fallacy that you're promoting is only part of the story. when there is no useful production by the people, where does the tax revenue come from?
Lets handle the issues one by one:
pray tell, what is so 'unjust' and 'inequitable' about the current sharing method?
If you don't appreciate the importance of railways, I would say it's unfortunate, because whether it was built with scrap metals from a London construction site or not, the system surely helped our people (and the colonialist) move goods from one part of the country to another with minimal costs.
You have not told me what other railroads have been built with modern non-scrap metals with our over-flowing oil money.
I could not have said it better. I didn't even look at the issue from your point of view. Thank you.
Most people tend to believe that without oil, naija people go perish. I say no be so. It will simply force us to go back to the basics, to reality, honesty, good government.
Without the federal government drawing easy money from the ground everyday, they would have to be supported by the people in such a way that our democracy will become genuine, ie grow from bottom to top, and not from top to bottom as it is now.
Check all the strong democracies in the World today, they are supported by taxes from state, local governments, individuals, and companies. In return, these entities hold their government accountable to greater extent than we do in naija.
In naija, the reverse is unfortunately the case, the oil provides 80-90% of the revenue, and the federal government shares these revenues in the most inequitable and corrupt manner imaginable. Just think about it.
The only people thinking that oil is a blessing are probably those temporarily satisfied with their so-called share of the national cake, and those with very short memories, and those who are ignorant of World history.
Discovery of oil has worsened corruption,corruption has not allowed development-infrastructure ,education,good governance etc.
I also makebold to say that international oil imperialists have conspired to ensure they get our oil for next to nothing,abuse the industry to further exploit us.
I used to work in the oil industry.About 20 years ago an expertriate came from America,had a good life,but was a chain smoker.Shortly aftert he expertriate returned to America ,he died of smoking related cancer.Our Nigerian operations had to pay billions of compensation because it was claimed that his coming to Nigeria was responsible for his having cancer!
Stories like this abounb.
My submission is that our Leades turned oil into a curse .Look at our so called expressroads -Lagos Ibadan.Shagamu -Benin,etc.They are incomparable to what obtains in America,Saudi Arabia,Indonasia,Malasia and other oil bearing nations.
How many people have these jobs? With the rate of depreciation of our public educational system, how many people are going to be qualified to take up these jobs in the next five or so years?
Methinks we've fared much worse post-crude oil, the oil-boom has certainly warped our economy and our values. But no, oil is not a curse. The Nigerian attitude to oil is the curse.
please emphasise the importance of that kind of 16th century model Port Harcourt-Enugu-Makurdi-Jos-Kano to any economy at all.
I can swear to you that this railway was built with the scrap metal that was dismantled from one of those ancient railway systems in Britain that gave way to the modern subway.
Yet no one has told me how much our foreign reserves or Federation Account was before Crude Oil was struck.
Nobody has mentioned what the average wage was back then.
The junior farm hands were certaily not educated, so which educated minority do you mean?
There is no question we have more roads, powerlines, houses today than we had 40-50 years ago, but the question really is this:
Has the pace of adding more roads, powerlines, houses, etc kept up with projected and anticipated population growth, given the huge amount of money we make from oil?
Before one starts making excuses or blaming ordinary Nigerians, just think about the level of infrastructural development achieved without oil money vs. those achieved with oil money.
For example, the PH-Enugu-Makurdi-Jos-Kano railway was built before oil, apart from occassional rehabilitation, I don't know of any other rail system outside this network after we struck oil.
Do you want me to emphasize the importance of railway to any developing country? Just an example.
from your electricity analogy, I am beginning to believe you refer to Crude Oil as a curse simply because it hasn't totally solved all our problems.
However, you second statement here is absolutely ridiculous. You mean to tell me that the average Nigerian farm labourer pre-Crude Oil earns more than the average Nigerian Oil workers today?
Or are you trying to tell me that all the Oil workers, Bank workers, Transporters, Aviation and Hotel workers, Telecoms employees, Traders, Importers/Exporters, Restaurateurs and Fashion designers are all unemployed/419/agbero?
Are they all putting in a dishonest day's job for a dishonest day's pay?
For someone who accuses me of not saying much in my posts, you say nothing at all in yours.
why won't you think before posting. Stop trying to miseducate people in here. I think it will save us all some reading time if you can just reason before posting so that you can realise that some of your posts are actually irrelevant.
If the Naira was of higher value than the dollar, the glory goes to this cursed Crude Oil because the Naira was introduced when we were lavishing Crude Oil wealth.
And if you have spare time for the acquisition of knowledge find out the unemployment and illiteracy levels before and after Crude Oil. So that you will know that only a small percentage had the privilege to even be farm hands. Yet the Government taxed all.