By Emmanuel Nduka
The World Bank has notified that Nigeria’s current oil reserves may only last for the next 49 years, unless new oil wells are discovered.
This was contained in a report released by the Bank titled: ‘The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021’ on Wednesday
“Oil-producing countries like Nigeria and Ecuador could entirely deplete their oil reserves in fewer than 50 years at current depletion rates, assuming no other significant oil fields are discovered or become commercially viable,” the report said.
It also advised countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Iraq who are in need of better wealth management, must do so to avoid disastrous consequences to their national wealth in the future.
“This is true not only for hydrocarbon-rich countries such as Iraq and Nigeria but also for some mineral-rich countries, such as Guinea and Sierra Leone. The negative adjusted net savings in these countries are a lead indicator of unsustainable wealth management. If continued, it will negatively impact the value of future wealth,” it added.
According to the report, investments in renewable natural resources and human capital could help countries not rely so much on Oil and Gas, but diversify their asset portfolio for a more sustainable future.
“This is because the value of a depleting non-renewable asset is being consumed rather than being invested in offsetting asset accumulation such as via human capital or productive capital investment. Therefore, governments may need to consider policies that would better preserve and build wealth or look for alternative sources of income to raise their net savings,” the report explained further.