As the world moves to renewable energy, crude oil demand is expected to crash down sharply in 2035 due to less dependence on oil and other fossil fuels and some oil-producing countries are playing safe and preparing for the moment when they can no longer rely on oil. They are looking to diversify their economies and find other sources of energy, but Nigeria stands accused of talking about diversification but doing little about it, more skeptical, trusting that demand for oil and gas will last for some time.
The obvious and much-contested fear is what impact the new technology might have on Nigeria. What happens when so many countries no longer need to buy so much oil and gas? How much influence will be lost by big fossil fuel producers, like Nigeria? And what might happen to Nigeria internally if they lose their main source of revenue?
The potential consequences of this are becoming an increasing source of concern to Nigerians as the country will face harsher economic downfall, save a world economic inclined President is elected in 2023 to begin the process of refocusing the country ahead of time.
A world renowned petroleum industry expert, Professor Chijioke Nwaozuzu, Director of the Emerald Energy Institute of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State made the warning while speaking to TimeAfrica in Abuja – Nigeria recently.
According to him, “Nigeria’s major crude oil importers are the USA, China, and India. USA is currently net exporter of crude oil. China plans to electrify vehicles by 2040. India plans to electrify vehicular fleet by 2030. In a couple of decades, the big buyers of Nigerian crude would have developed alternative energy sources for transport.”
“How will the Federal Government of Nigeria fund the Federal Ministries, Agencies, Departments, Universities, Polytechnics, Medical Centers, Embassies, State Governments, Local Governments, etc”? he questioned.
He said Nigeria would be irretrievably save a president who knows what to do is elected in the 2023 general election, insisting that the election is crucial to prepare the country ahead of the herculean challenges arising from the 2035 near zero oil consumption by the advance world.
He said that the crude oil export upon which the country relies for more than 80% of its revenue will become virtually useless by 2035 as auto manufacturers abroad have been mandated to stop producing petrol and diesel engines by that year and foreign governments are already readjusting and realigning their energy policies accordingly, stressing that electrification of vehicles, which is already in top gear, will very soon become the order of the day.
What this means, he said, is that all those who are scrambling for the presidency in the hope that they will continue to preside over an era of massive crude oil exports that would be bringing in billions of dollars for sharing may wake up to discover that nobody wants the crude oil anymore and that there will thus be no more inflow of mega petro-dollars.
“The ‘pillow on which our collective heads are resting’- crude oil export- is about to slide, on or before 2035,” he alerted, noting that “Nigeria has 12 years left to deal with associated issues,” including “economic diversification to ICT, Mechanized Agriculture, Mining etc.; domestication of oil and gas resources via construction of new refineries and petrochemicals complexes and removal of fuel subsidies.
He said the country must also urgently deal “with landslide insecurities across the entire landscape, deal with power sector reforms to boost manufacturing and reduce importation drastically to shore up the Naira exchange rates to the Euro, Pounds Sterling and Dollars; deal with crushing poverty, via sound macroeconomic management, and navigate from crude oil export revenue for national budget funding to a natural gas budget base for the future,” if it is to survive the emerging global economic realities.
According to him, “the president we get in 2023 will be saddled with these onerous tasks, hopefully for the next eight years. If whoever is elected in 2023 does not know what to start doing immediately after being sworn in, or spends four or eight years in office unable to tackle these critical issues, the four years left before 2035 would be too short a time to remedy the dire situation the country would certainly face.”
He opined that the task ahead is not for the regular Nigerian politicians, who are accustomed to making national appointments based on political patronages or based on who contributed financially to their political success.
“These are tasks for thorough bred professionals and intellectuals dressed in political garbs,” he said, stressing that, “one more mistake, and we can all kiss the future of this potentially great country and its citizens farewell and final goodbye. It’s now or never. No margin for error!!”
TimeAfrica can authoritatively report that the expansion of electric vehicles has accelerated significantly, to a point when it will become the norm rather than the exception. Battery technology still has far to go but many scientists and businesses are competing to find ways of storing electrical power that is lighter and longer-lasting. Already some electrically powered passenger aircraft are in production and ships powered by batteries rather than fuel oil underway.