21 April 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The President of the Nigeria Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), Prof. Wumi Iledare, says Nigeria needs to boost its crude oil production to more than 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) to stabilise and grow the economy.
Iledare, who spoke during a pre-conference media briefing in Abuja, said the upcoming 9th NAEE/IAEE international conference holding next week in Abuja, would address how the country could ramp-up its crude oil production and how proceeds from it could be used to energise the economy.
He said although the 2.4m bpd is not enough to sustain the economy, or even grow it, resource management is vital because studies have shown that emerging economies often experience economic degression when oil prices are good because they tend to be lacking in capacity to manage the boom.
Iledare, however, noted that, “2.4 million barrels per day of crude oil production is not enough to take this economy to where the government plans it to be.”
He added that the situation has become more complex and difficult for the country with the current drop in crude oil prices, and that the country has shown less concern about using her oil resources to develop her economic capacities.
Iledare explained that the purpose of the conference is to explore the energy supply options for energising emerging economies like Nigeria, adding that the low oil prices should not be viewed in bad light but as an opportunity to diversify the economy and do away with petroleum subsidy.
The NAEE chief charged the federal government to take advantage of the opening that the current dip in prices of crude oil on the international market presents to deregulate the country’s downstream oil sector as well as effectively diversify Nigeria’s economy horizontally.
“In our opinion, low oil prices offers Nigeria an opportunity to cut wastage in spending, set aside fiscal irresponsibility, reduce overdependence on oil and get rid of bloated governance spending expenses,” he said.
He stated that the conference will specifically concentrate on the roles that natural gas and renewable energy can play in energising the economies of developing countries like Nigeria.
The Nigerian Association of Energy Economics (NAEE) is an affiliate of the International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE).