While countries around the world are working hard to move their nation to the next level bearing in mind the realities of our time and undertaking a good projection into the future, Nigerian leaders have continued to feed fat on the nation’s resources, something we all know will not remain forever.
From a research room came the shale revolution, an outstanding reversal in the need for the known crude oil and its effect that has cut Nigeria’s sales of crude oil export to the world’s largest consumer and a major buyer from Nigeria – the United States of America.
The US Department of Energy reported that Nigeria did not export a single barrel of crude to the US-based refiners in July for the first time since both countries’ trade agreement started in 1973.
Many other oil producers have seen their oil export to the US drop.
The end to exports to the US is in line with a warning a year ago by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, that shale was “one of the most serious threats for oil producing countries in Africa”.
In what seemed like an off-set to the impact of the drop in US sales, Nigeria started lifting oil to Asia, with India supplanting the US as the largest importer of crude oil from Nigeria.
However, a greater challenge is facing Nigeria, which is making a lip commitment to diversifying its economy at a period all odds are coming against its major source of revenue expected to be used in pushing other sectors forward.
Agriculture sector, for instance, is one sector that will remain as long as the earth remains, but the government’s effort in that sector, though commendable, still falls short of the statements on its commitment to move the sector forward.
While Nigeria is trying to take over the Asian crude oil-buyers’ market, other African countries are discovering crude oil, a development that the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, warned the nation about last year.
Angola, Libya, Algeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, South Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya and other African countries are also jostling for the same Asian market, a development that will crash the price of crude in the next few years. The buyers will call the shots.
Analysts have warned that Nigeria will be making a big mistake if it continues to rely on the Asian buyers, considering the fact that the shale revolution has made almost every nation of the earth a potential oil producer.
Have events overtaken the diversification of Nigeria’s economy?
On the other side of the divide is the world of technology that is also posing a big challenge to crude oil sales.
Researchers are making vehicles that will not use fuel, but just solar energy and batteries charged by mere plugging to electricity.
In Nigeria today (October 5, 2014), the Bishop of the Living Faith Church, Dr. David Oyedepo introduced to the church, a breakthrough by the Covenant University – vehicles and tricycles that run on batteries and fuel.
Dr Oyedepo said that the vehicles which could cover a long distance running on batteries would first be test-run within Canaan Land.
With these breakthroughs in technology, Nigeria stands no other chance than to diversify its economy.
Yet,he political will to perfect the reforms needed to push the economy away from its mainstay- crude oil sales- to other sectors, is lacking, with a poor justice system.
What does this portend for the politicians?
The earlier they embrace the realities on the ground and genuinely pursue the diversification of the economy, the better the future will look for them and the unborn Nigerian child.
However, I see a future where genuine and selfless leaders with good intentions for the nation will emerge.
The political parties will seek them, every where they are, to come and lead the nation to its greatness again.
Imagine a nation led by men that will not seek self gratification, men that will not convert the nation’s resources to theirs, who will not accept bribes to jeopardise the future of the unborn children; that nation will be the envy of the entire world because every fund will be well appropriated to the last amount.
Where are these men found? On earth of course!