It isn’t a myth but a fact that Nigeria is one of the nations that producing the most crude oil in the modern world today. They currently sit at number 8th spot in the list of nations that produces the most crude oil in the world and holds the position as the number in one crude oil-producing nation in Africa. Surprised?
Yes, Nigeria is the highest producer of crude oil in the continent of Africa producing more barrels of oil on a daily basis than most oil-producing nations in Africa. Nigeria produces more than 2.5 million barrels per day, and boast of a reserve of about 37 billion barrels.
As a nation that produces such a large volume of oil and depends on the exportation of crude oil, the poverty rate is expected to be low or on the decline but in Nigeria is the reverse. Recent research shows that Nigeria a country of an estimated 200 million people has overtaken India as the nation with the number of people living in poverty, revealing that a large number of citizens of this oil-laden nation still lives on less than $2.00 a day, with the unemployment rate has increased drastically in the last couple years. So with this kind of valuable natural mineral that Nigeria has been blessed with, why still, so many people wallow in poverty? The answer is corruption. Nigeria has suffered a lot in the wicked hands of corruption. Some of Her past leaders have sailed the ship of the country in the wrong direction and ending up in rocky, and tumorous waters, leaving the state of the country in absolute wreckage. Leaving the unending debate on whether the discovery of crude oil in Nigerian being a blessing or a curse to the Nigerian economy.
Crude oil was discovered in Nigeria in the year 1956. though research shows that the search for crude oil was actually going on far back in the year 1908 by a German corp. called the Nigerian Bitumen Corporation but oil was discovered until 1956 at the town of Oloibiri in where is now known as Bayelsa state in the Niger Delta area, South of the country. Eventually leading to euphoria in the economy of the country and paving way for big Oil industries like Chevron, Mobil, Agip, and Texaco in the year 1961. These led to rapid growth in the Nigerian economy. But before then, the foundation of the Nigerian economy was built majorly on agriculture.
Nigeria was famous Her the exportation of cash crops such as rubber groundnut, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, and kernels gotten from various regions of the country. One of her famous wonders was the groundnut pyramid, it was a large pyramid made out of sacks of groundnuts in the northern city of Kano in Kano state. Agricultural boasted of more than 30% of employment, providing more than 80% of Nigerian export earnings, 65% of the total output of the GDP(Gross domestic profit) generated by employment, and 50% of government revenue in the 60s. But due to the new rise of oil exportation, agricultural products in total exports has decreased drastically from over 70% in 1960 to less than 2%, and what seems promising in the agriculture sector was neglected. Since then it has failed to show signs of the previous glory.
The world is moving fast to an era when everything will be technologically oriented, and Nigeria hasn’t been exempted from this movement. Nigeria has seen or rather adopted some new and improved changes brought by technology that the whole world enjoys today. From online banking to
5G network, and the new internet phenomenon that made things easy during the lockdown caused by the pandemic, online video calling app Zoom. It is safe to say that technology is taking over.
And with the new introduction of vehicles powered by electric and its adoption by many developed countries in the world and many discoveries of lesser polluted ways to generate power without the use of oil, they’ll be a huge decline in the value of petroleum, and Nigeria also wasn’t left out on this as they recently launched their electric cars which ironically means there might be some problem in the economy in the future because Nigerian economy mainly depends on oil exportation which atones to more than 90% of the countries earning. What does this say? Technology is the future.
Nigeria can’t solely depend on the exportation of crude. We need to strengthen the agriculture sector, revitalize it and return to the food exportation era, the groundnut pyramid, and also fully adopt modern technology, we can from Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinde who made a fortune from the sales of their very owned tech company paystack which was sold to stripe for $200M, and both of them are Nigerians. It's time Nigerians know that agriculture is an everlasting goldmine and technology is simply the future.