Nigeria’s growing wealth and its growing poor

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Poverty-stricken Nigerians, surviving on less than a dollar a day have called for a better standard of living following reports that the country has hit a fortune of N7.6 trillion from oil in the last 10 months.

The N7.6 trillion is a 210% rise from the N3.606 trillion estimated to accrue from oil for the whole year.

This has prompted struggling Nigerians to cry out for a better regulation of the funds to help move the larger amount of people over the poverty line.

Although Nigeria is known to benefit from huge oil revenues, this has never been evident in the lives of the average Nigerian.

Nigerians have decided to speak up against the irresponsible distribution of the country’s wealth.

Ms. Njong Edem, a petty trader was quoted as saying ‘We want the government to use this unexpected profit to provide social amenities and infrastructures for us the suffering people. They have enough to live the luxury life; I hope they do not rather increase their allowances, benefits and holiday cheques, with this windfall- that will be really sad.’

The earnings were the value of domestic deliveries to refineries and crude oil export for the last 10 months.

Figures obtained from the Central Bank (CBN), the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) show that a total 451.02 million barrels of crude oil were exported from Nigeria.

A total production of 588.82 million barrels from January to October 2008, amounted to the N7.60 trillion.

Commenting on the distribution of wealth following the announcement of these profits and windfalls, critics have indicated that the people of the Niger Delta, who suffer a devastating backdrop of oil production, are yet to benefit from better living conditions and standards.

Non-oil sources of revenue also generated N923 billion.

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