Poverty: Discovery of oil won’t make any difference in the North – NEF

THE Convener of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ango Abdullahi, has said the discovery of oil in some northern states will not address the high rate of poverty in the region.

According to Abdullahi, the discovery will not make any difference because Nigeria’s oil sector only serve the interest of the rich and powerful while the poor suffer the brunts of corruption.

Abdullahi made the assertion in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune.

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“Only very few people benefit from oil exploration and oil business. I am sure you have read recently that up to 700,000 barrels of crude oil are stolen every day. Is the oil stolen by the poor Nigerians? No, it is stolen by the elected and educated people in the country. So, oil has been a source of poverty in Nigeria,” he said.

Abdullahi added that the oil sector “has killed the initiative to create something more permanent and more useful”.

He stressed that what will save Nigeria, particular Northern Nigeria, is to go back to agriculture.



    “Oil has been responsible for killing agriculture in Nigeria and agriculture is the employer of 70 per cent of Nigerians”, he said.

    President Muhammadu Buhari, in November, flagged off the first crude oil drilling project in northern Nigeria, on the boundary of Bauchi and Gombe states.

    The commercial quantity discovery was the first in the region after several crude oil explorations in the Upper Benue Trough.

    During the flag-off in Bauchi, Buhari said the successful discovery of the Kolmani Oil and Gas field by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and partners will attract foreign investment, generate employment and increase government revenue.

    Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: [email protected]

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