Guess what? Nigeria is no longer the largest producer of Oil in Africa.
I wish this news came as a shock to me, but it really does not. Earlier this year, OPEC (Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries) wrote on their site that Angola had replaced Nigeria to become the highest oil producer is Africa.
When I was studying for my Masters Degree, in one of my courses, we were placed in teams and told to research Africa’s natural resources. I was quite excited.
One, I was the only black and female African in my Cohort. Two, being Nigerian, I naturally looked into a resource I could readily relate to Nigeria - Oil i.e. Petroleum. Even then, when we started the research into the oil Industry, it was obvious that Nigeria was not going to hold that position much longer. According to an OPEC report of February this year, Angola’s currently produces 1.651 million barrels per day (bpd), compared to Nigeria’s 1.576 million-1.604 million barrels per day, however what I found more surprising in the article, was that Nigeria had just regained the status of top oil producer from Algeria in December 2016, then lost it less than two months later to Angola.
Now that we have gotten this out of the way, it is important to note that this article is much more than having a title, it is not even more about maintaining it, because just like Nigeria, Angola gets most of its country’s revenue from exporting oil. It is the issue of we, (not just our government and political elite) not being unable to properly manage resources. It is an issue that for over 50 post independence years, we have not been able to harness the massive revenue from oil, to develop our nation, and also build and empower other sectors. Oil Well Owners consider oil a personal property, and are unable to understand the simple fact that Oil as a resource today, can become scarce or even less of a resource in the near future, and that there is a need to constantly invest in Research, Development and Innovation to find alternatives. Everyone should ask this question.
If our oil wealth dried out, what is next?
Electric Cars have been out for years in more developed countries, we have also heard of cars made to run on water. We even have cars running on compressed air, being developed in countries that are traditionally Africa’s biggest buyers of oil. With all these alternatives, the demand for our oil will keep reducing; our leverage will also decline, and then what?
It is about time for a gathering of young intelligent minds to deliberate and formulate a way forward. Intelligent minds referred to in this write-up are not those who have certificates alone, or Directors, CEOs and MDs, looking to use and make money from other people’s ideas, I mean young people who realise that most of the people currently at the hem of affairs, will not be here, when we start facing challenges. As youths, we need to start collaborating and stop competing. We need to come together and create a sustainable future for us, and our generations unborn. Please think about this, as I certainly will.
Share your thoughts, what can we do? lets brainstorm in the comments section
My name is Faith Nte for The Street Hawker, and this is my Impression.