By Odunewu Segun
The profitability of oil, Nigeria’s main source of income is likely to be under threat as China, Germany, France, India and other industrialised countries plan to ban the production and sale of diesel and petro vehicles between the next 10 to 15 years.
Vice President Yem Osinbajo echoed this fears on Tuesday when he told Nigerians, especially people in the Niger Delta to make effective use of the proceeds from oil as the product may soon become unprofitable.
Osinbajo spoke at the 2nd National Council Meeting on the Niger Delta, in Akure.
Although he noted that Nigeria currently relied on oil for its foreign exchange earnings, the vice president said as nations of the world crave for cleaner alternative sources of energy, it (Nigeria) and indeed the Niger Delta region stood at a disadvantage, unless drastic steps were taken to stem the over-dependence on the product.
He said that while Asia was earnestly looking for alternative sources of energy, China and Japan had more electric charging points than fuel stations. “Many of the countries in Europe have set deadlines for phasing out cars using hydrocarbon,” he said.
He added that the development meant that Nigeria’s crude oil would not be needed in the global market soon, adding that the global threats to Nigeria’s main stay were real.
The vice president requested the people of the Niger Delta to be prepared to allow for quick development of the region before it becomes too late.
“The future of oil is declining and that is why it is the duty of all stakeholders to exploit all the opportunity now and to ensure that we are not constantly battling with the security of the pipelines.”
“We have no reason why we should not develop all other potentials apart from oil in the region. If we can do this, the full potentials of the region will be fulfilled and our collective vision will be realized,” he said.
He said the blowing up of oil pipelines was no longer fashionable as the rush for crude dwindles across the globe.
Also commenting, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, noted that interventions of the past administrations in the Niger Delta had produced little result and the region still lacked evidence of development.
The governor recounted the long history of development interventions in the oil producing areas, noting that the commendable efforts made by past administrations to transform the economic and physical landscape had yielded positive marginal results.
He said the government and people in the Niger Delta region must seize the opportunity offered by the special meeting to ruminate on the methods adopted, which had made insignificant impact in bridging the infrastructural gap.
He called for the empowerment of the youth in the region and demanded the strengthening of transparency and accountability in the various interventions in the region.