Nigeria’s prominence at the epicenter of the African stage is credited to its giant population and its international role in the energy market. Nigeria’s swelling population, expected to reach 500 million by 2050 according to the UN, is also the root of its socioeconomic challenges, experiencing acute inequality, poverty, and increasing youth unemployment.
Nigeria is the 13th largest oil producer in the world and the first in Africa. The petroleum industry today represents over 60% of the country’s annual budgetary income, in addition to employing over 250,000 Nigerians due to the sector’s dependence on local service providers. Nevertheless, the Nigerian government has struggled to foster a just and sustainable development.
The government is currently determined to pass the long-overdue Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that will address the poor governance of the industry and attempt to attract flagging investment, which is resulting in stalled production growth.
Nigeria is also eager to take advantage of its natural gas reserves. Home to an estimated at 200.79 trillion cubic feet (cf) of natural gas, Nigeria has the capacity to power Africa, yet currently, gas production stands at only 8.5 billion cf/d. 2020 has thus been declared ‘The Year of Gas’.
2020 carried with it high expectations with the increasing presence of new private refineries to meet the countries domestic fuel deficit, as well as the renewed hope in the PIB and the declaration of the ‘Year of Natural Gas’. COVID-19 has since added a new challenge and plummeting petrol prices as oil tankers are unable to discharge their cargoes will impact all of the Nigerian governments fiscal plans. GBR reports on the state of the industry and the outlook for the years to come.