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Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? - Politics - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Politics / Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? (16554 Views)

Poll: Oil: a curse or a blessing?

A blessing: 63% (29 votes)
A curse: 36% (17 votes)
This poll has ended

Aig-imoukhede, Chair Of Presidential Panel On Subsidy Verification, Is Oil Cabal / Is Oil Really That Important To Our Economy / Is Oil A Blessing To Nigeria? (1) (2) (3) (4)

(0) (1) (2) (Reply) (Go Down)

Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by Xris74: 2:11pm On Aug 09, 2007
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?
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by jaybee3(m): 3:05pm On Sep 17, 2007
Depends on the angle you wanna see it from.
First and foremost, we have to look at the state, future of the numerous oil producing stable nations in the world.
Oil is an essential commodity that drives world financial markets, provides livelihood for so many people (Job, transportation, money which in turn can be used for tourism i.e. some countries in middle east, money to help develop the country, technology in terms of renewable energy, drive to research in terms of nuclear technology, solar energy, etc). My point is we should see it has a blessing as there are so many benefits attached to it if managed properly.
I know a lot can be said as well in terms of it being a curse. (Their was a quote in the film blood diamonds where by one of the sierra Leonean made reference to they being lucky that oil hasn’t been discovered in their country). We can also talk about the effects of its bi-products “Global Warming” another key topic being discussed heavily in the developed nation.

What we need are stable, reliable, God-fearing people that will help manage our main generating resource (in terms of revenue) to provide a better future for the our/next generation
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by denex: 3:27pm On Sep 17, 2007
Oil is a mighty blessing. The only people that spread propaganda that oil is a curse are those people who want us to give away our oil free or cheaply to them either because they don't have enough or they don't have at all.

Oil is an immeasurable blessing. Have you ever heard Venezuela, Saudi Arabia or Russia saying that oil is a curse to any country? No. That's because they have their own oil in excess and don't need to deceive anybody else in order to get their oil. Thank God for oil in Nigeria and other parts of the world, if not we will hanging ourselves on a daily basis.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 3:45pm On Sep 17, 2007
denex:

Oil is an immeasurable blessing. Have you ever heard Venezuela, Saudi Arabia or Russia saying that oil is a curse to any country? No. That's because they have their own oil in excess and don't need to deceive anybody else in order to get their oil. Thank God for oil in Nigeria and other parts of the world, if not we will hanging ourselves on a daily basis.

Oil is a big curse to naija.

Remember how well things were organized, how NEPA was efficient, how cocoa, palm kernel , and ground-nut were produced, how efficient companies were run in the east, west, and north, how people did an honest day job for an honest day's pay.

I can go on and on. Today, with oil lubricating the engine of our national corruption, only a few well placed individuals make it.

We still depend on infrastructures like railway, roads, houses built when there was no oil.
We have not been able to match the income from oil with appropriate level of development for the past 30-40 years now.

Of all the countries with excess crude oil, in OPEC; show me which one is truely developing. Venezuela, Saudi Arabis, Kuwait, Nigeria, Iran, etc that produce excess oil are no match for Japan, India, China, Germany, Brazil, etc that don't have excess oil.

Go figure!
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 4:53pm On Sep 17, 2007
@Oly-D

Another example why oil is a curse rather than a blessing. Discovery oil of oil turned brothers into enemies.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by saintchux(m): 5:20pm On Sep 17, 2007
naijaking1:

@Oly-D

Another example why oil is a curse rather than a blessing. Discovery oil of oil turned brothers into enemies.

Because two brothers are fighting for oil because of their greediness, it is now a curse.
What of those that are not fighting.

I believe that the problem of oil in Nigeria is greediness and selfishness. If our leaders are providing essential ammunity and other social services from the proceed of the oil, people will not complain.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by Mamajama(m): 5:21pm On Sep 17, 2007
Oil is a blessing to Nigeria.  the issue is management and development.  we need to come up with a profound strategy to manage our resources better and effectively
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by my2cents(m): 5:44pm On Sep 17, 2007
Whoever came up with the phrase, "The Black Curse" knew what he/she was saying. Most countries with oil, and that includes Saudi Arabia, are not utilizing the monies realized in a way that a majority of its citizens can benefit from it. Typically, and this also applies to other natural resources, those countries with the most, end up being among the poorest in the world.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 6:27pm On Sep 17, 2007
@my2cents

Good words.

@mamajama

Integration of management with development from oil has been shown to be impossible in oil developing 3rd world countries like naija, for that reason you agree that we not ready for oil windfalls.
In the hands of an expert, fire is a useful tool, but in the hands of naive, or unsophisticated people it is just a disaster. Same comes for oil.

@saintchux

my brother, we're saying the same thing in different ways.
Naturally, there is always tension between brothers, but the presence of oil attracked evil, outsiders, corruption, selfishness, greed out of proportion to whatever has been known before.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by osisi5: 6:54pm On Sep 17, 2007
Oly-D:

FG Returns 46 Oil Wells to Abia
From Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia, 09.15.2007

The agitation by Abia State Government for the return of its oil wells wrongly ceded to neighbouring Rivers State has finally yielded the desired fruit as 46 oil wells have now been returned to the original owner (Abia) after verification.
Abia State Commiss-ioner for Information and Culture, Mr. Ralph Egbu, announced the good news yesterday, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting, stating that with the new development, the oil revenue profile of the state would rise from next month.
He said the decision to return the oil wells was reached in Abuja last week during a meeting involving officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Revenue Mobilis-ation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Abia and Rivers State governments.
Egbu said in addition to the 46 returned oil Wells, Abia also got back an additional two and a half wells, explaining that it came about due to a sharing agreement on the ownership of five other oil wells which was inconclusive.
According to him, it was resolved that both Rivers and Abia would both share the proceeds from the five contentious oil wells equally, pending the time the matter of ownership would be finally determined.
The Abia State Govern-ment intensified agitation for the return of the ceded oil wells during administration of Orji Uzor Kalu.
With an estimated 60 “stolen” oil wells, members of the State House of Assembly had then embarked on a hunger strike to press home the state’s demand.
But even with the return of most of the oil wells, the Information Commissioner said Abia would continue with the struggle to recover all of its known oil wells given to Rivers State.
“The government (Abia) is not yet satisfied at the number of oil wells available within its territory. It has therefore engaged the services of a consultant versed in oil business and politics to assist the state locate all the oil wells within its territory,” Egbu said.


http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=89360

If well managed, Oil is sure a blessing than curse. I hope Abia plays it nicely as it enters the real big oil league

Igbos always knew that Nigeria gave away Biafraland and it's oil to Rivers state just to punish us.
The drilling that's been going on in Ukwa LGA of Abia state is hardly talked about.
Now that it's official the stolen oil wells are being credited to Igboland.
Will we now end up with our own militants?

If so please let them take back the wells.
we have enough problems of our own.
Kwezuonu!

long live Yaradua and anyone who worked to right this wrong
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by texazzpete(m): 8:22pm On Sep 17, 2007
why the heck are you people over-dramatizing the whole issue? how can something that accounts for over 90% of our economy be a 'curse'?
We need the oil money. lest you forget,we have a very large population. how do we feed them all? We'll barely be able tgo feed on our agricultural produce, not to talk of exporting it sef.
unlike Israel, we cannot export hi-technology because we're crippled in that regard. we cannot make money from tourism because of mismanagement. so how can any logical human being call OIl a curse?

Be courageous enough to blame the sheer stupidity, ineptitude and corruption of fellow Nigerians for all the oil related woes we're suffering in this country
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by denex: 9:19pm On Sep 17, 2007
@naijaking1


That was some major jungle talk you dished out regarding the era of Agricultural Export.



You are remembering the efficiency of NEPA when less than 10 million Nigerians were connected to the National Grid and at a time when no single private individual had Split AC or Washing Machine in their home.

How convenient.


Now let me say something about Palm Oil and Palm kernel oil this once for those who are not opportuned to know.


Nigeria produced a unique breed of the Palm plant in NIFOR during the Colonial Era. The British then monopolised the production of palm oil and palm kernel oil for years.

During the European Tribal Wars sparked off by Adolf Hitler, the Germans had almost encircled all the routes for other European countries to siphon agricultural resources from West Africa.

In a last effort, the British came to Nigeria, collected samples of all the hybridized agricultural species we had and took them to countries in East Asia who had a climate and soil similar to ours and there they now establish their new agricultural supply region.

Britain being our ONLY market, having gone to source their supplies from somewhere else, and still holding us a colony, thereby prevented us from selling produce to Germany, Japan, Italy or Russia.

This was how for 15 years, during and after the civil war Nigerian farmers had monumental agricultural produce with no one to export to. Prices went as low as zero (free of charge). People started giving away their cocoa, groundnuts and palm produce just so they won't watch them rot.


In the North, farm animals were fed with groundnuts ad libitum and there was even excess to throw away.


In the South West, cocoa was destroyed by burning because there were no cocoa processing plants or chocolate factories in Nigeria back then.

That was our own great depression. That was when people started leaving farming for other jobs which were virtually inexistent.

Hundreds of thousands signed up as soldiers to fight in the war to earn a living.


It took 2 decades before Nigerian farmers realised that our days of glory as agricultural produce exporters had come to an end.


Our farmers began to clear off export crops from their farms to produce Maize, Yam, Cassava, Plantain and Beans.

That was how they survived on the margin of life till fortunately Crude Oil came along and saved our lives.


TODAY WE SAY OIL IS A CURSE.



We may want to investigate how much was in our Federation Account and our Foreign Reserves when we were exporting Groundnuts, Palm Oil, Cocoa and Cotton? Perhaps $30 million. How would Nigeria have sustained herself on that kind of annual income?


Then why not investigate how much Nigerians were earning as farmers for Britain about 1.50 per month? Which today would amount to about 2.5 (N650). Which you would claim was enough to sustain a man's family.



Nigeria was used as the farmland of Britain for more than 70 years, and some people are celebrating it as the time of our lives.

Let's not forget that we were also paying taxes to the British Crown.


If this Groundnut money Developed Nigeria, built roads all over the place and electrified the entire Nigeria, then where did those Roads, Airports, Bridges and Electricity Transformers disappear to? Abi the curse of Crude Oil made them vanish too?



Please let us study matters properly before shouting everywhere that Crude Oil has been a curse.


Crude Oil is the only thing that survived us up to this point if not we would have long been completely SOMALISED.



How will these oil hungry countries not claim that Crude Oil is a curse?

When Magareth Thatcher's son, Sir Mark Thatcher will be hopping from one African country to the other plotting Military Coups so that the British Merchants who sponsor him will come and plunder resources,
When the CIA is busy sailing across the Gulf of Guinea to supply free M-16 and M-60 Machine Guns to MEND so that they can carry on Bunkering Crude Oil and selling to Halliburton, why won't they use their media to condition our psychology into thinking that our resource are a curse so that they can bundle everything we have at the cheapest possible price. From what I'm seeing some people post in here, CNN and BBC have really done their job well.



I've personally heard that Diamonds are forever and Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but CNN pulled a new one in a documentary they made where they claimed Diamonds are a curse to Sierra Leone.

Diamonds a Curse! If you leave all these Oyibo people, they will say all the resources in Africa are all curses and evil spells.


The year that breathable oxygen will become a scarce commodity, they will say the air in Africa is our curse so that we will let them cart it away.
When they will need mass organ transfers, they will come and tell us that our left kidneys are a curse too.





When will Nigerians and Africans grow up? When will we realise that we taught these people all the tricks they're now pulling on us?

When are we going to start executing people like Mark Thatcher anytime they are caught plotting coups in Africa for their countries. A man knighted for nothing else than the number of African countries he has destabilized in order to enrich the British Empire at a cheap cost of African lives.

When will Nigerians realise that even the Bakassi issue was a ploy to see Nigeria and Cameroon start a war that would last the next 30 years and allow Shell, Halliburton, Mobil and Total come to siphon all the Crude Oil in Nigeria, Cameroon, Bakassi and even Equatorial Guinea at a cost of 1 AK-47 for 100 barrels of Crude Oil.

When will you people wake us and stop thinking like sheep?
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by osisi5: 9:26pm On Sep 17, 2007
when the average man is worse off today than before oil what can we say?
Is it a blessing and we can't find good ones to put in our cars?
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by denex: 9:36pm On Sep 17, 2007
May God give you the wisdom to find out how much the average Nigerian was living on before crude oil was discovered and compare that to what the average Nigerian is earning now.

Or do you forget that the average Nigerian worker back then was a manual labourer in a farm or a junior farm hand just like existed in Zimbabwe just recently.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 9:52pm On Sep 17, 2007
@denex

Good long exposition, but short on facts.
You have a tendency to mix up historical facts.
If a 1960s naija was able to fully supply power to 10 million people, why can't a 2000s naija with oil money, technology, and education fully supply power to its current 150 million people?
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 9:57pm On Sep 17, 2007
denex:

Or do you forget that the average Nigerian worker back then was a manual labourer in a farm or a junior farm hand just like existed in Zimbabwe just recently.

I pray God to enlighten you my brother. A manual labourer/junior farm hand vs. unemployed/419er/agboro which one contributes more to the nation?

Remember: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by osisi5: 10:09pm On Sep 17, 2007
at that same time the naira was  stronger than the dollar.
The boy needs serious education.

A farm hand with 3 square meals is 100 times better than an area boy under the bridge.
The result of our oil wealth
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 10:16pm On Sep 17, 2007
People were farm hands and they were proud of the job they did.

They could count on good roads, reliable power, World class education.

They had lofty hopes for themselves and their families.

Those farm hands produced children who turned out to be doctors, lawyers, and engineers.

Without oil.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by Seun(m): 10:23pm On Sep 17, 2007
Everything you've just said only applied to the educated minority of less than 1%.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by Iman3(m): 10:31pm On Sep 17, 2007
naijaking1:

People were farm hands and they were proud of the job they did.
They could count on good roads, reliable power, World class education.
They had lofty hopes for themselves and their families.
Those farm hands produced children who turned out to be doctors, lawyers, and engineers.
Without oil.

This is pure fable.The infrastructure we have today was unavailable then.There are infintely more roads,schools,hospitals,phone lines,housing,e.t.c than before.

I think then the Govt benefited from low expectations.For instance,people didn't mind if they had electricity for only 5hours a day,most people didn't have access to electricity then.It was only with time that the demands on Govt grew and with it,people's evaluations of the Govts performance
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by denex: 10:41pm On Sep 17, 2007
@naijaking1

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.




@+osisi

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.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by osisi5: 10:45pm On Sep 17, 2007
denex:

@naijaking1

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.




@+osisi

why won't you think before posting. Stop trying to miseducate people in here. [b]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.[/b]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.

yet you commented.
ROFL
Is the average Nigerian better off today,is the question
You say yes,I say No.
Keep dreaming.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by denex: 10:48pm On Sep 17, 2007
I say the average Nigerian is faring far better.
You say she's not.
Well, keep nightmaring.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 10:53pm On Sep 17, 2007
Seun:

Everything you've just said only applied to the educated minority of less than 1%.

The junior farm hands were certaily not educated, so which educated minority do you mean?

I-man:

This is pure fable.The infrastructure we have today was unavailable then.There are infintely more roads,schools,hospitals,phone lines,housing,e.t.c than before.

I think then the Govt benefited from low expectations.For instance,people didn't mind if they had electricity for only 5hours a day,most people didn't have access to electricity then.It was only with time that the demands on Govt grew and with it,people's evaluations of the Govts performance

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.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by denex: 11:10pm On Sep 17, 2007
@naijaking


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.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by ziddy(m): 12:22am On Sep 18, 2007
denex:


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?


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.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by WarfyBoy(m): 1:05am On Sep 18, 2007
OIL NA BLESSING OHH, @ ALL @ ALL NA WITCH IF TO SAY OIL NO DEY E FOR DON OVA US ALL, NO B ALL THESE TINS WEY UNA DEY TLK FOR HERE, OIL NA BIG BLESINGS, THANK GOD WE HAVE IF NOT EHNNNNNNNNNN LOL, I NO NEED TO TELL YOU WETIN FOR HAPPEN FOR THIS COUNTRY
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by Gbenguz: 1:56am On Sep 18, 2007
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.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 2:49am On Sep 18, 2007
@denex
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.

@Gbenguz
I could not have said it better. I didn't even look at the issue from your point of view. Thank you.

@all
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.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by debosky(m): 3:14am On Sep 18, 2007
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?
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by naijaking1: 3:50am On Sep 18, 2007
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.

@Debosky
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.
Re: Is Oil A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigeria? by debosky(m): 4:42am On Sep 18, 2007
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.

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