Waziri Adio, the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), says the country spent more than what was saved from crude oil between 2005 and 2015.
Adio said $201.2bn entered into the excess crude account during that time, and that the country spent $204.7bn within the same period.
He said the spending pattern means there were no savings made by the country.
Speaking on Arise Television on Thursday, Adio said Nigeria wouldn’t have to keep borrowing if there was a disciplined culture of saving in place.
“Between January 2005 and June 2015, the money that entered into the excess crude oil account as savings was $201.2 billion but the country spent $204.7 billion within the same period, which means that the country spent more than what it saved from oil from 2005 to 2015, and this amounts to no savings at all,” he said.
“Even if the country had saved 25 per cent of the $201.2 billion, by the time prices of oil started falling, we would have had about N50.3 billion in excess crude oil account alone.
“We have been in the journey of saving our earnings for over 30 years now, but the problem we have is that we save and spend instead of saving and keeping.
“So we need to look back as a country and know where we got it wrong. There is good need to spend but it will be easier if we have savings so that we can spend from what we have saved.
“We are not against savings but we should be able to spend from what we saved. When we had a boom, we were saving but our spending became far more than our savings.
“Yes we know there are some infrastructural and developmental challenges that need to be addressed with money but we need to develop the culture of saving as a country.
“It makes sense to save especially when we depend on revenue generated from natural resources.”