Nigeria is a nation writ large, in contrasts and potentials as well as in disappointments. It is one of the top producers and exporters of oil in the world, with significant reserves for the future. In search of a solution, the country’s leadership is attempting to recreate its energy superstructure. Will this undertaking reverse decades of distortion in the national economy in Africa’s most populous nation; will it launch a brave new state economy, or will it unravel one of the world’s nameplate resource nations into an investor-repellant wasteland? What does this experiment portend for other resource rich nations and for the resource dependent world eager to wean itself from a dependency on fossil fuels?
Written from the balanced perspectives of someone on the ground yet one who is keenly aware of the dynamics of the global energy economy, Nigeria & Her Oil reviews the build-up to the present situation, the effect on investment considerations, and the potential impact on the nation and the continent’s energy future. It captures the deep change in Nigeria’s oil and gas landscape, and attempts to illuminate the factors making hydrocarbon resources such a combustible threat to the future of one of the world’s most contradictory socio-economic units. It examines the background issues that go beyond Nigeria. It highlights what the new legislation proposes, as well as the aspirations and frustrations that inform those propositions. It explores the contradictions taking place of which the legislation is merely an index, and questions the assumption of both the national leadership and the oil and gas investor community. It looks at choices already being made, options still open, the traps and the opportunities.
This terse book underlines what is at stake in Nigeria at this time; it is about what really happens when resource capitalism collides with resource nationalism. It provides advice for investors, policy makers and any other interested observer. Finally, it recommends a cautiously optimistic approach by all involved, to mitigate the risks and take advantage of change.