Nigerian economy is centered on petrol dollar and that is what we all rely on to survive,
because it is 70 per cent of our revenue. While I was ruminating on the generation of our
income in Nigeria, which centered on oil production, I question myself, how much is this income generation from oil production?
Giving by the OPEC permission that Nigeria can only produce 2.1 million barrels of oil per day, it means we produce 766.5 million barrel annually. Nigeria population is 170 million and if we divide the barrel of oil per head which we are all entitled to, it means, we are all entitled to 4.85 barrels of oil per year, approximately 5 barrel per head per year. The cost of barrel of oil as at today is 50 dollars, meaning that we are all entitled to 250 dollars per head per year.
The cost of dollar today in exchange for naira is between N366 and N370 per dollar, but let us assume that a dollar is N400 for ease of calculation. Multiplying 250 barrel by N400, it amount to N100,000 and that is what we are entitled to per head per year. Diving this into twelve months, it means on monthly basis, we are entitled to N8,333.33. How much is #8,000 to an average Nigeria in a month; does it takes care of its basic needs?
As bad as it is, that is what we all rely on, and that is why we languish in poverty and wretchedness, as every Nigerian hope is on oil money as our major source of our income on the other hand. The proceeds from oil seems enormous to us because only few, that is about 1 million Nigeria of our the entire population benefit immensely from the proceeds, which makes them richer before an average Nigerian.
By the statistics I have given, if the oil revenue proceeds entitled to by all Nigerians were actually given, even at the cost of N8,000 in a month, maybe the situation might not be as excruciating as this, but because about 99 per cent don’t have access to their entitlement, that is why we think we are rich. But all this while, this is the basis of our wretchedness and poverty as a nation.
Communiqué of the One-Day Conference on the Second Anniversary of the Southwest in National Governance Organised By Urban Media Resource Limited, On 15th September, 2017.
- Conferees at the Osogbo conference observed that the idea of popular democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. They took notice of the facts that Nigeria’s democracy during the Fourth Republic has been in operation for the past eighteen years but that progressive politicians have not been part of the national government until the last two (2) years. Conferees also noted that the Western part of Nigeria being always in the progressive mode of opposition politics have therefore not had any opportunity of being part of the political forces which constituted the Federal Government until about the last 2 years.
- Conferees deliberated on the main theme of the Conference, that is, an appraisal of the place of the Southwest in national political equation, the issues of economic development and the place of Osun State in the anchoring of development initiatives in the last six years and, the idea of federalising political parties in Nigeria.
- Conferees agreed that the Southwest’s relative importance in the federation of Nigeria is such that it stands in a better stead in the continuance and stability of the federation and not in its disintegration. That the Southwest has nonetheless in the about the last thirty years judging by the physical development and the distribution of infrastructure from the Federal centre to the states regressed significantly from being a leading region in the country to a position less than what she occupied before the 1970s.
- Conferees agreed that constitutional amendment to reflect significant transfer of power from the centre especially as contained in the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) to the States, would be an antidote to the regression of the Western part of Nigeria.
- Conferees noted that the most significant way by which development can be more meaningful to the people of Nigeria is to transfer resources from the few and the privileged to the majority of the pole through a system of welfare and social safety nets.
- Conferees agreed that the Government of the State of Osun has in the last six years significantly transferred public resources to the ordinary man and the majority of its citizens through its social welfare programmes such as O’Yes, O’Meal, O’Rehab, Agba Osun and Women Empowerment. It was also observed that an additional and effective way of transferring resources to the ordinary man would and should be through the capital budget in which resources are not spent on recurrent expenditure by paying salaries, overhead and wages alone but also on the simultaneous creation of physical infrastructure by which the majority of the people can be reached.
- Conferees discussed the issue of political federalisation by which it meant ensuring that all political parties in Nigeria and the leadership thereof reflect our federal character and that leadership should be progressive from the grassroots to the state and federal levels.
- Conferees agreed that this political orientation is not new to the western part of Nigeria but that there is the need to avoid falling into conservative and reactionary politics into which the southwest fell during 2003-2011.
- Conferees concluded that the solution to the current political debate on restructuring can only be resolved in favour of the continuance and growth of Nigeria and not in its dissolution but more important also, in the adjustment of both constitutional and tax powers to reflect the urgent need to devolve power to the federating units and cut the 9xcesses of federal intervention in those matters that are purely regional or local.