To say that the Nigeria’s crude oil is a curse is not to fully know the history of Nigeria’s economy. For example in the last fifty years Nigeria has accrued the sum of 500 billion dollars from the lucrative sale of crude oil. Money which has translated to inadequate power, schools, water and unemployment, even the goose that lays the golden egg; the Niger delta is in a state of great insecurity and poverty.
In the past Agriculture was Nigeria’s lifeline; it provided proper welfare for the citizens, jobs, well equipped schools, good roads etc this happened because of proper management of the revenues that emanated from the sale of agricultural produce. Years later the farms have been abandoned; farmers have dropped the machete and the sickle in search of the Golden Fleece in Lagos, port-Harcourt, etc.
Crude oil export accounts for more than 98% of the nation’s export earnings and about 83% federal government revenue. Undoubtedly crude oil has brought Nigeria great fame, fortune and a migraine. Nigeria is the 10th petroleum exporting nation in the world and perhaps ought to be the most affluent in Africa. Petro-dollars have helped build most of the infrastructures, schools, hospitals and a city that meets the international standards; Abuja
But lately it is with infamy Nigerians have come to regard the black gold; abductions and insurgency is rife in the Niger Delta, as militants fighting for the control of the resource have regularly attacked multinational oil installations and structures. The nation’s economy has taking a beating with 25% of the nation’s crude oil export quota unmet. The growing chasm between Niger Deltans and the federal government continues to widen noteworthy when UN envoy Professor Ibrahim gambari was unceremoniously rejected by the region to head a reconciliatory committee after he had been handpicked by Nigeria’s leader, president Umar ‘yar’adua.
The Niger Deltans must be greatly compensated for the long years of neglect and given a reasonable allocation from the nation’s revenue, perhaps this defective bridge over the Niger could be built and stand as an armistice monument for all the Niger Deltans and Nigerians to remember