The Nigerian Association for Energy Economics, today said that despite Nigeria’s abundant energy resources, the country is still living in abject energy poverty.
This he said during his presentation at the second and concluding day of the 11th Annual International Conference of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics, NAEE in Abuja, President of the NAEE, Professor Wumi Iledare, stated that Nigeria’s abject energy poverty was as a result of the country’s over-dependence on hydrocarbon production for revenue rather than for value creation.
He said, “Certainly, the Nigeria story can best be described as a nation living in abject energy poverty, amidst abundant energy resources.
“That Nigeria is overly too dependent on hydrocarbon production for revenues, rather than value-creation, is an understatement. This is a major hindrance to the nation’s economic growth and sustainable development potential.”
“The mind-boggling question is: how can a nation with significant abundant resources be so paradoxically undeveloped and dependent on its survival on crude oil exports? Yet Nigeria has often been referred to as a gas province with small scattered oil fields here and there. However, these huge gas resources have had an epileptic contribution to the national economy.”
Iledare noted that the Nigeria’s economic vulnerability to crude oil price and supply shocks was as a result of its dependence on oil for revenue rather than for value-creation.
“Furthermore, the fall in global oil price also recorded another huge shock to Nigeria’s economy in terms of assets divestment, low exploration and production activities and oil market glut, thereby ensuring that the management of the consequences of petroleum dependent has resulted to transfer payment and rent-seeking mentality,” he explained.
He, however, expressed optimism that Nigeria’s situation was about to change, while he called on energy professionals to rise to the challenges confronting the country and and create a platform to address these energy policy issues.