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What Is Nigeria Without Oil?

27 November 2012, 11:43

Fellow Nigerians, glory be to God for blessing us so bountifully. Indeed we are so lucky that we are God’s own country, a country so much endowed (not the type of endowment that Dbanj talked about) with so many good things to make life easier for us. Nigeria the land of my birth, flowing with oil.


It was obvious my brain was as tired as my body having stayed awake for over 24 hours for no other reason than the fact that sleep just wouldn’t come! Why? I didn’t know. I was neither excited nor anxious about anything in particular. I have been thinking about my country, Nigeria. While I was engrossed with thought, I remembered a poetry I once read where the author, S. Coleridge wrote “water, water, everywhere but not enough to drink”. But in the case of Nigeria, it is oil, oil, everywhere but not enough to take care of her citizens. It is regrettably so because oil wealth is concentrated into the hands of the rich, heartless, greedy, selfish, privileged few. This is the ugly situation of Nigeria, a land so much blessed but the masses suffer amidst plenty.


In spite of everything, plenty trouble. Oh oil! That precious liquid gold or better still, liquid diamond beneath the earth crust. That precious substance that nations in the world keep wanting. The liquid that makes mobility from one location to the other possible. One has lost count of the number of souls that have died trying to lay claim to this ‘wonderful liquid’. Little wonder past and present administrations made it the wealth that sustains our economy in such a way that Nigeria solely depends on oil for everything, from monthly federal allocations to state governments to stolen oil subsidy money to the money that politicians share in heavy bags of Ghana-must-go.


Oil money! What will Nigeria be without oil? Death of course! Because oil has become the oxygen that we breathe in. Without much sweat, we make billions of dollars from oil, such that we don’t even know what to do with it—to borrow from a former head of state, General Gowon who once ruled Nigeria and boasted to the world at large about our surplus oil wealth.  Without oil, probably, there would be no Nigeria today.  It is oil that unites us together as one.


Past disputes between communities or even states were partly or mainly because of oil.  Today, oil is Nigeria and Nigeria is all about nothing but oil.  One dig at oil, one attempt at removing oil subsidy and there would be civil disobedience inform of demonstration and strike actions—because, as people would say, “God has a reason for blessing us with oil and we must benefit from it till we die.”  But one great Nigerian woman is praying that God should dry up Nigeria’s oil! 


One may sound  unpatriotic if he prays that our oil should dry up or that the rapid quest for technologies that offer renewable energy options as alternatives to oil should emerge in order that the lure of oil politics in our nation may cease.


I believe that oil is not the route to our greatness.  Our human capital is not just a route to our greatness but is in fact our greatness. Let us think beyond oil because it has caused more harm than good in our nation. We shall get there one day!

 
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