President Muhammadu Buhari did not remove fuel subsidy. Hear us out first. We will go straight to the point.
Between 1971- 2001, average revenue derived from crude oil sales was roughly $21 billion annually. Nigeria also earned a consolidated amount of about $500 billion from 1959 to 2001.
Between 2001 to date, the average annual income from crude oil is about $60billion annually. This is a far cry required to meet our needs.
For decades, Nigeria flared 70% of its gas, which if monetized would have quadrupled oil earnings. By the way, we still flare 28% of our gas deposit still without any proper Gas Utilization framework. This alone is huge wastage.
When we factor in our huge population (170 million) into our infrastructural needs such as health care, education, power and social welfare, the picture becomes awful.
In essence what we have earned as national income since oil was discovered combined with all the other sectors cannot meet our basic capital requirement to do anything substantial. The APC regime knew this and they lied to us.
Add this to poor institutional and legal framework, you begin to understand the enormity of our problems. These problems cannot be solved in the next 30 years! Forget all the campaign promises from 16 years of PDP and 1 year of APC. No political party can solve this problem as presently constituted.
We heretofore, elucidate on our myriad developmental needs and the projected funding requirement to wit:
- Nigeria will require about $ 1trillion capital injection in a 10 year span to get our infrastructure up to speed. In other words, all the money generated from oil from 1971 to 2001 cannot fix our infrastructural need. We don’t have the money and this is a problem.
- Our power sector needs capital injection of about $40billion in 5years to make stable power supply and consumption sensible. We don’t have the money and this is a problem.
- Educational sector would require an estimated $ 10 billion capital injection in a 5 year span to make sense. This is a problem.
- Health care would require something close to $20billion to have well equipped hospitals, research centers and other specialist health care delivery centers. We don’t have the money and this is a problem.
- To make any gainful impact on the agriculture sector, the government would have to inject about $ 10 billion within the next 5yrs with emphasis on processing and research industries irrigation projects for improved livestock & crop yields. This is a problem.
- A functional and robust pension scheme is necessary, it will do us a lot good to adopt the Chilean Model. This is a major problem too.
- Our exchange rate is another matter—- we better decide the real market value of this money called Naira….and stop all the CBN interventionist monetary policy gimmicks at regulating its true position. This is a problem.
The above developmental needs can’t be solved with Oil Revenues alone. When we appreciate how poor and backward we are and get more analytical with a grasp of data, we will then decide to start working and understand the enormity of our problems.
Individual States must start looking away from the center and seek for ways of generating income. When our system is designed to depend on oil revenue and shared by the Federal Government, then we are in a sorry state. This is the biggest problem.