Ugo Niyeke Orhionmwon, An Oil-Producing Area
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By Dr. Patricia Fadaka-Igbinovia (Last update June 10, 2023)

Edo State has oil exploration in three local government areas: Orhionmwon, Ikpoba-Okha, and Ovia North East. According to Odobo (2018), the oil producing areas of Edo State of Nigeria are usually perceived as peaceful compared with the wild and violent Niger Delta zone of Nigeria. This paper is interested in the area on the map marked # 6: Edo Oil-Producing area, particularly Ugo Niyeke Orhionmwon (her maternal grand parents’ original base). Ugo Niyeke Orhionmwon within #6 has been termed the calmest of the crude oil producing areas (Odobo, 2018). The people now realize that the government and oil companies who misused the oil resource without compensating the communities where the resource is located have swindled them (Odobo, 2018). Although the once famous Ugo Niyeke Orhionmwon (Ugo Ebo Ebo-the center of herbal medicine) is within the oil-producing area of Edo State, the Federal, State, and oil companies have grossly neglected it. The great community remains just as it was in ages past except for some minimal private efforts. The area experiences rural/urban drift (urbanization) because people move out of the area to better-developed places all over the world. Our prayers to the powers that be is that they should remember to develop this decent, hardworking, caring, and peaceful community for the sake of posterity and God will bless all those who do.

According to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) (2020), Nigeria has remained the largest oil-producing country in Africa, has the largest natural gas assets in Africa, and number five among the world-leading exporters of liquefied natural gas in 2018. Natives sometimes disturb production when they protest their dissatisfaction about the exploitation. Nigeria is highly reliant on crude oil and natural gas and it is virtually a mono economy and Nigeria’s non-oil revenue is only 3.4% of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) and according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) (2018), this is one of the lowest GDPs in the world. Nigeria operates in a trade deficit because we buy more foreign goods than we sell our products to foreign countries and that decreases our GDP. Nigeria imports nearly everything and sells mainly crude oil and natural gas to foreign countries. Although Nigeria is the largest crude oil producer in Africa with billions of dollars annually, Nigeria owes the World Bank about $86 billion.

Varrella (2020) states that as at 2019, Nigeria has a daily production of more than two million barrels a day through the existing 18 pipelines. Nigeria’s rank is eleventh position among the highest oil producers in the world. Nigeria solely depends on the petroleum industry accounting for more than 90% of her export value. Nigeria currently stands as the largest oil producer in Africa, south of the Sahara.

The area marked red and labeled 1-9 is the crude oil-producing area of Nigeria being bled of its crude oil resources that took nature millions of years to accumulate as organic matter within the strata of sedimentary rocks. Over-exploitation can exhaust the source of crude oil. What will Nigeria do when the source of crude oil is exhausted? Crude oil can be extracted but cannot be produced. It should be noted that some countries have crude oil reserved in her territories that have not been touched.
According to the Wall Street report (2019) the 15 countries with most oil reserves range as follows:
1. Venezuela 303.2 billion barrels
2. Saudi Arabia 266.2 billion barrels
3. Canada 168.9 billion barrels
4. Iran 157.2 billion barrels
5. Iraq 148.8 billion barrels
6. Russian Federation 106.2 billion barrels
7. Kuwait 101.5 billion barrels
8. United Arab Emirates 97.8 billion barrels
9. United States of America 50.0 billion barrels
10. Libya 48.4 billion barrels
11. Nigeria 37.5 billion barrels
12. Kazakhstan 30.0 billion barrels
13. China 25.7 billion barrels
14. Qatar 25.2 billion barrels
15. Brazil 12.8 billion barrels
Nigeria ranked #10 in 2015 with over 38 billion barrels of oil but she dropped to #11 with 37.5 billion barrels. Nigeria is bleeding her crude oil and natural gas resources to death. Ghana had only cocoa as her mono economy years ago but they have overcome that and have developed other resources. The first successful crude oil well in Nigeria was in Iloibiri in 1958: This well was exploited for about 20 years having produced over 20 million barrels. In 1978, the Royal Dutch Shell stopped the oil production in Iloibiri and left the area immediately without draining off the 21.26 million barrels of hydrocarbon on the field. Agricultural production was heavily impacted as crops could not grow anywhere near the oil fields. Iloibiri was exploited and abandoned without development (physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral). The same treatment is happening in most of the other oil-producing areas. Many nations of the world are concentrated on exploiting the crude oil and natural gas in Nigeria and with the connivance of some Nigerians to cheat the nation: at times the daily amount of the oil is not known, the communities do not benefit from the exploration of oil but the middle men who negotiate on behalf of the natives enrich themselves and give peanuts to the local chiefs. The crude oil is piped underground to distant places for refining, thereby robbing the crude oil-producing communities of employment opportunities. There are no good roads, schools, running clean water, electricity, transportation services, health services, and so on.

The current Scramble for Oil in Nigeria should be controlled so we do not become the poorest nation in the world. Nigeria should continue to encourage renewable resources such as palm oil, cocoa, rubber, timber, peanuts, and agricultural products (cassava (tapioca), corn, millet, rice, yams, and livestock) and should embark on manufacturing (cars, airplanes, ships, and so on). We can be part of space exploration too!
By Dr. Patricia Fadaka-Igbinovia, NY
Nigeria Oil Preserves and Production Map by the Energy Consulting Group
Map by Gozar at English Wikipedia

Map of Nigeria numerically showing states typically considered part of the Niger Delta region: 1. Abia, 2. Akwa Ibom, 3. Bayelsa, 4. Cross River, 5. Delta, 6. Edo, 7.Imo, 8. Ondo, 9. Rivers

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