Development Communication

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[pic] Economic Confidential, June, 2009
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Crude oil and Nigeria’s failed development
By Moses Braimah By the year 2010 Nigeria will be 50 years old as an independent nation. Compared to other countries that are within the same age bracket, same high population, but with far less per capita income, it is clear that we have not made the type of development politically and economically our founding fathers had hoped for. So many fundamental developmental challenges like weak electoral system, poor infrastructural base, corruption, insecurity and uninspiring leadership in most sectors have continued to plague our progress. Many of our leaders do not realize that nature knows no pause and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). Also, that the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership (Harvey S. Firestone). It is a shame that despite the huge financial resources from crude oil which we have ‘undeservedly’ earned over the years we have not been able to build our nation due to primitive accumulation of wealth and serial corruption, maladministration and mismanagement of our collective wealth. Prof. John Beddington, UK Chief Scientist, warned recently that, “By 2030 the demand for resources will create a crisis with dire consequences. Demand for food and energy will jump 50% by 2030 and for fresh water by 30%, as the (global) population tops 8.3 billion.” As a nation, do we realize this? Our over reliability on income from crude oil export whose other diverse opportunities have not been well exploited to develop the economy is a big shame.
Crude oil and gas exports accounts for more than 98% of our export earnings and about 83% of federal government revenue, as well as over 40% of GDP. It also provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65% of government budgetary revenues. It is on record that Nigeria has about 159 oil fields and 1,481 oil wells.

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