THE OIL GLUT AND THE JOURNEY TO SURVIVAL
Let’s evaluate on this topic for a minute, let it sink into our consciousness and then let’s arrange ourselves and decide on the way forward.
Firstly it’s no more news that the price of Brent crude oil is sinking faster than a ship with holes, as at today its price hovers around the $30 mark. With a Nigerian budget deficit at N2.2 trillion, or 2.16 per cent of GDP based on an estimated benchmark crude oil price of $38 per barrel we seem to be already sinking before we even attempt to fly.
Secondly Nobody is buying our Oil, It’s Bad enough that the USA who were Nigeria’s largest purchaser of our crude oil stopped buying completely in July 2014 as their own Shale Oil Production grew, but China our kindred spirit has abandoned us for Iran……yes Iran is back into the picture, America has lifted sanctions on Iran and suddenly they are stealing what little customers we had left.
Thirdly the Foreign Exchange Rate is crushing us, literally crushing us. Let’s be honest Nigerians love imported products, from our lingerie to toothpick, we are addicts to foreign products and unfortunately we are not exporting much to balance it out. The exchange rate has skyrocketed that I am left wondering how I will continue to pay for this blog space (Just joking..
Gone are the days where families had a satisfactory thriving business in cocoa, Palm Oil, Cotton, Cassava Flour, but now it’s all about Oil Money and why not. It was more lucrative than all these other commodities, besides who was going to head to the farm and supervise these processes, not the bloke who would rather be in an air conditioned office in Abuja taking ridiculous tea breaks whilst the credit alerts kept coming into his account. But Alas that rainbow has disappeared. Unemployment is on the increase and Companies are laying off Staff to survive the cash drought. Last I heard some Oil companies were cleaning house and getting ready to head back across the sea. Unbelievable!!!!! So now what were we going to do?
Nigeria has a new Government in Office who were still trying to come to terms with the actions of the previous government. Their relationship was like the proverbial Rival Princes who had been fighting for the Queen’s heart all these years only for the winning Prince to find out that the former Prince had carted away all her jewels, and Gold as he made his hasty escape out of the Palace, now the Prince was so full of anger and shock at meeting an empty palace that he was unconsciously ignoring the Queen for whom he had labored all this years to possess.
Are you lost? Don’t worry it’s the poet in me throwing in some ridiculous third wheel allegory.
- § Quit falling victim to all those TV ADS and buying your leg and your hand from Europe and put your thinking cap back on again, this is a time for problem solvers and inventors. What can you produce?
- § Open your eyes and develop exciting ways to cut costs and still satisfy your cravings for e.g. cut out soda and take smoothies or fruit juice. It’s cheaper especially if you blend them yourself and it’s healthier.
- § Fall in love again with the tourist centers available in Nigeria, you don’t need to uproot your whole family and spend millions on some travel destination when you can simply drive to your hometown.
- § Be Entrepreneurial, open your eyes all around you and reach out for opportunities, did I say reach out, No Grab opportunities when you see them.
- § Save power, if you are not using a Pre-paid Meter well try and get one, switch off all appliances when you are leaving the house.
- § Save and Save and save again…then Invest …Invest and invest again, whilst it’s good to save your money but don’t hide it under your bed for locusts to come and feed on it. Research and ask for sound investment advice and let that money work for you.
- § Finally be aware of your environment, listen to news, follow political and economic policies and ask questions where you are confused. You should be aware of what is going on in your polity.
- The next months are not going to be for the lily-livered, it’s a time to cultivate prosperity, Our Economy once upon a time thrived without the riches of crude oil and now we have been forced to go back to the drawing board.
The Government appears to be meeting these challenges head on with the Minister of State for Petroleum boasting that Nigeria would still make profit even if Oil sells at $20 a barrel, (Yeah i am not sold on that ) but with most of their attention focused on the escaping looters all over our polity I hope there is enough time to spare for those of us that want do not want to be battered in this economy.
Children I advise you to start tracing your grandfathers Farm because Farming may soon become the New IT occupation. No Oil No problem we always survive.