With the high adoption of cleaner energy globally and cars today running on these energy sources ,a situation that has made oil producing countries like Nigeria worry and ask what is the next step for the economy. Though, the country has started a rigorous approach to diversify the economy from crude oil dependent one to other know-how and intellectual commodity based Economy.
Though, economic watchers have criticised the seriousness of the country till diversify terming it as “lip service” and “charade”. With the huge money invested in oil prospecting especially in the Northern part of the country instead of using the funds for other research and development. Nigeria has been seen by most of her citizens as not serious about the diversification of the economy but one thing is clear, the end is here. Sooner or later we have to usher in an era of new energy system and if care is not taken, the most populated country in black Africa would be left out of the equation. Is this a doomsday or boomsday prophecy? That’s left for the country’s handlers to decide.
This is good news or bad news depending on how you view it .but it is here and we can’t change it . If you guys are conversant with the energy epochs or period in the world ,you would understand that everything has time and must stop at a particular time but unfortunately for us in this part of the world , especially Nigeria ,we don’t learn from history, we don’t even teach history and this has made most of the young folks forgetful or living in a Que Sera Sera situation.
What the hell am I driving at? We used to have the steam era, it was an era that steam was used to power industries , cars and other industrial machineries. This ushered the industrial revolution that saw many farm hands displaced and machineries taking over the job that was done by man.
But, the scientists of then didn’t go to sleep, they went back to lab, they noticed the inefficiencies in steam and they discovered coal. Liverpool again was bustling and bubbling … Tons of coal was unearthed,exhumed and found, people died but energy must be used without minding the environmental impact of coal with it’s attendant health issues. Coal was the new steam and machineries was powered… Here in Nigeria ,Enugu a city in the East was found not because of its hilly location or pristine environment but basically because of the coal. The city has abundant coal deposited. The city saw a whole lot of economic development because of this coal. Osadebe Osita , Nigerian musician and one of the finest gift the Igbo race gave to the world sang about the coal in his track “Ebezine” . That was the importance of coal. The city of Port Harcourt was built because of coal , as a place the colonials would use to export coal due to the sea port.
Yet, the scientists didn’t find coal “cool”! They went back to lab again and found that other fossil fuel like crude oil is better and more cheaper. They utilised the crude ,new wealth came, the Arabs became a force to reckon with, the Saudis became friends to many, a sort of economic Mecca, Chevron , ShellBP , Chevron et al became economic deciders. An era that brought the cold war with USSR having huge and monstrous deposit of crude oil and becoming a threat to the global peace. Turning off their pipeline at their own time, using it as a negotiating tool, and when the USSR coughed then, the Western Europe always run to hospital.
A commodity that have seen many wars fought ,like the 1967 – 1979 war of Biafra in Nigeria. Some pundit has allegedly claimed that the war wasn’t fought because of unity, far from it ! It was fought because of crude oil in the Niger Delta creeks. Though , rebuttal has been made against the allegation but it is said today in hush hush tones that crude oil is what is oiling the machineries of Nigerian unity. How true this is ,time would tell . The budget of many countries , Nigeria inclusive is hinged ,based and done based on this utility.
But, this story is about to end, just like other energy resources, crude oil end is at sight. I can sight it ,if you can’t. Environmentalist ain’t smiling today, they have lamented that the planet is crying and ozone layer depleting and heat stroke killing folks. With the melting of ice caps and permafrost , crude oil has been pointed as one of the culprit. Many of the consuming nations are beginning to rethink their consumption pattern and this has made the scientist once again to start cracking and putting on their thinking cap.
The scientists found out that there are other energy sources that are cleaner and renewable such as electric , solar, wind etc. This caused low consumption of the commodity (crude oil) and manufacturers and other OEMs are finding ways to limit the usage of crude oil. Initially cars stopped guzzling PMS and gasoline, that not enough,they started making hybrid of cars. These are cars that drive on both gasoline and other energy sources, reducing the consumption of the gasoline to fifty percent. This has received the demand for crude oil making countries that couldn’t utilize their crude earning like Nigeria, Angola and Venezuela worried and having heart attacks with seizures!
Not having pity ,not taking any prisoners in their onslaught, these OEMs took the game further….they introduced cars that do zero percent gasoline. Tesla leading the pack and other herds are taking cue from Tesla on how to run a car without gasoline and trust me , they are learning fast. Countries have started thinking and worrying” what is in this for us ” some countries are fazing off gasoline powered cars in few years times while car manufacturers are closing down plants to start electric cars , Volvo is an example of this. Allegedly, they have made such an announcement.
The questions is , would Tesla usher in another era of energy consumption or do we still consumer crude oil for sometime until folks like Tesla perfect their game, let’s say in another century! This time corridor would make countries like Nigeria to put their house in order and have a rethink. A situation that the economists are hoping that should happen but the environmentalist are taking none of this. These “greeners” want to ensure that crude oil is limited to the barest minimum thereby putting countries like Nigeria and Venezuela in a perilous situation. How do they cope with this situation ? Time would tell.
Anthony Emeka Nwosu