By David Ejiohuo
The need for the Federal Government to diversify the oil industry in Nigeria, to gain more from our crude oil has been stressed.
A one time minister of petroleum in Nigeria, Chief Odien Ajumogobia, stressed this need during the weekend, when he spoke with the newsmen at Port Harcourt International Airport Omagwa.
According to Chief Ajumogobia, it was the high time the nation takes the diversification project of the oil and gas industry serious to create more wealth and employment from the crude oil we produce and export.
The former minister explained that Nigeria was just an oil producing and exporting nation but not in the oil industry business. “Nigeria as at today is just involved in the oil production and exporting business but not in the oil and gas industry because it has refused to get involved in the processing of the crude oil it produces”.
According to him, the crude oil in itself is not useful to anybody until it is processed and the valuables are got from it.
“Nigeria today, still export our crude oil with over one hundred derogative or valuables in them and import just the petrol, diesel, kerosene and aviation fuel and forfeit or dash out the remaining derogative to the nation we export our oil for nothing”.
One of the things in our crude oil he disclosed is sulphur; the Nigerian crude oil has low sulphur in it and in high demand all over the world but we dash them out because we do not process our crude.
Diversification he noticed, takes a long time and expensive but very profitable in terms of revenue generation and provide the much needed employment opportunities in the nation.
“No matter what it takes, it is the high time Nigeria gets involved in the diversification of her economy and the oil industry in particular. I have always advocated for this and it is my stand always even now”, he added.