A former minister of mines and steels during the first republic Maitama Sule has said that the discovery of oil in Nigeria comes as both a blessing and a curse.
Leadership reports that the Sule who is also the Dan Maisani of Kano accused corrupt leaders of using proceeds from Nigeria’s oil resource to live extravagant lifestyles.
He said these corrupt leaders – most of them who own oil wells – divert billions of naira which are supposed to be remitted to the government to their individual foreign accounts.
He also said these leaders specialize in sending their girlfriends to make their hair in Paris, shop in London and have holidays in New York.
“I succeeded the late Ribadu as petroleum minister who was the minister of Defence, Mines, Power and in charge of oil and so I remained in oil sector from 1959 to 1966,” Sule said.
Sule said these leaders build mansions in ghettos where there are no access road and purchase luxurious limousines only to drive them on the rough and dusty roads of Nigeria all with stolen money.
Noting that hopes for the exploration of oil in Nigeria was dashed after the first exploring companies could not find it, the former minister however said that Shell was the first oil company to start exploration after its discovery.
He said for some reasons the oil exploration companies coupled with some contractual amendments, later returned after vacating the site and fortunately for Nigeria they announced the discovery of oil in commercial quantity.
It was as a result of that meeting, series of discussions and agreements that Agip agreed to come to Nigeria and compete with the seven other oil companies then.