On New Year’s day in 1975, the mood in Nigeria was optimistic. The economy was trending upwards thanks to improved crude oil revenue. GDP per capita grew by almost 60% in the previous year. By comparison, our GDP per capita growth was barely 3% in 2018.
Back in 1974, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members stopped selling their crude oil to countries such as the UK, USA and Canada, because they were perceived to support Israel during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. As a result of this supply crunch, the price of crude oil rose sharply from $3 per barrel to $11 per barrel and remained high even after the OPEC sales embargo was lifted.