The Perception of Nigerians On The Deregulation and Privatization Moves of The Government In The Oil and Gas Industry In Nigeria
Nigeria is blessed with a vast quantity of oil and is the sixth largest oil exporter in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This has generated billions of dollars in revenues over the last forty (40) years since oil was found in Nigeria. As in most developing countries, this has not translated into an improved economy for the country. Thus, the government has set out plans to deregulate the downstream sector of the oil industry which has been vehemently opposed by the civil society and majority of the citizens. This logjam has been detrimental to national advancement/development. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the perception of Nigerians on the deregulation and privatization moves of the government in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. The oil and gas industry is strategic to national development and growth in Nigeria. Oil and gas constitute about 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and 83% of its GDP. This study adopted the survey research design. It was found that the deregulation and privatization of the oil and gas industry will usher in sustainable national development and will be a blessing rather than a curse for the citizenry. 77.8% of the respondents believe that the deregulation and privatization of the oil and gas industry will be a blessing to Nigerians and 80.6% of the respondents do not believe that the deregulation and privatization of the oil and gas industry will be a curse to Nigerians. The authors recommend that
strategic sectors such as oil and gas as well as the power sector should be deregulated and privatized for sustainable national development.