Between Wool and Crude Oil
Woolen manufacture was England’s most prominent industry in 1750,while crude oil has been Nigeria’s major income earner for several years.
Stakeholders in the wool industry were based in the West Riding of Yorkshire,here cloths of medium quality were made, In East Anglia, here coarser fustian were produced and in South west of England,where fine and good quality cloth was made.
Woolen cloth was a major export product and as a result the industry was closely regulated.
Production was still in the hands of small masters in the West Riding and East Anglia.
The export price of cloth was fixed as far back as the 10th century,and extraordinary steps were taken to disallow the export of the raw wool.
As the market for woolen cloth expanded,the ownership of capital and the control of credit gained prominence.
The cottage workers were financially incapable of purchasing large quantity of raw materials neither could they afford to sell the finished product on creditor source for market outside their homes.This brought about a more advanced form of capitalism which eventually replaced the cottage industry.
In Nigeria today,the main export is crude oil and Those-in-Charge,their agents, proxies and cronies dictate happenings in the oil industry with impunity.
Interestingly, oil bunkering and smuggling is the order of the day and their stock in trade.
In addition,those with the power and means own crude oil refining companies abroad. Crude oil exported abroad for refining,are brought back in refined form as Petroleum Motor Spirit(PMS) for sale to unsuspecting Nigerians.
The unimpressive state of the economy,is perhaps, a sad reflection of the domestic and foreign interests the present administration represents.