Thursday, 11 February 2016


The drastic fall in the price of crude oil has affected and continues to affect the Nigerian economy adversely. Nigeria's revenue based has dropped astronomically with over 50% in the last one  year as a result of unprecedented fall in the price of crude oil, her mainstay. As expected,  this has untold negative consequences for her economy.

It is high time the government of Nigeria realized that oil is gradually losing value as a major foreign exchange earner for countries that do depend on it  for survival and prosperity of their economies, and by extension their citizens.

A number of factors are working together against the fortune of crude in the international market.  The refusal of OPEC countries to cut production quota, the recent discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity  by some nations that were not hitherto oil producing nations; the near attainment of energy independence by the United States of America, which has led to huge reduction in its oil import and the inventions of automobiles and other machinery that use batteries and other sources of energy, instead of petroleum products, amongst others, are some of the factors that have continued to push down the prices of crude oil in the global market.

Succesive governments of Nigeria have refused to inject billions of US Dollars earned from sales of crude oil in the past five decades into the economy with a view to diversifying it. The humongous amount of money realized from sales of crude oil was stolen by past Nigerian government officials while a greater part of it was spent on importation of consumer goods instead of using it as a catalyst for developing other aspects of the economy.

The current sorry and appalling state of Nigerian economy is an aftermath of years of over-dependence on crude oil, refusal/failure of Nigerian government to diversify the economy and fix power and infrastructure; and corruption/decay in the system.

Now is the time for Nigeria to begin to shift attention from crude oil as a major source of foreign exchange earner and consciously begin to develop other aspects of her economy: agriculture, industrialization/manufacturing, tourism, energy/power, services and more. There is also the urgent need for Nigeria to adopt true or fiscal federalism, with a view to empowering state state and local government in the country with the constitutional and legal power to tap and apply economic resources in their domains for economic development. Every tier of government in Nigeria must become economically productive. The practice of 'sharing and consumption' federalism between the Federal government of Nigeria and its component parts must stop. Above all, corruption among Nigerian government officials must be brought to an end and the country's resources must be managed with prudence and used for overall economic development of the country. This is the only way to secure an economically stable and prosperous future for Nigeria and Nigerians.

I take responsibility for any errors that may be found in this editorial.
Frank, Chukwuka Osimi.
Lagos Nigeria.

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