The country where everybody can be rich
I got this from an article in today's newspaper.
Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer which earns the coutry $14 billion per year. Since oil was found in 1958 about $300 billion fled to the country. That's more than enough money to make every Nigerian as wealthy as the average European. And yet 70% of the poluation earns less than $1 (!) per day.
Where did all that money go to?
The biggest part went to the successive (corrupt) regimes of the country. Ex-president Babangida kept $8 billion over a period of 8 years. Between 1993 and 1998 Sani Abacha kept $4 billion to himself. It's very doubtful that the democraticly elected president Olusegun Obasanjo (1999) can reverse this as his entourage is just the same as those who came before him.
Another cause is the international community and more specifically the USA. The USA has enormous interest in Nigeria for over $7.4 billion of investments. Those investments are managed by the top of the Bush administartion. Vice-president Dick Cheney was till last year the big boss of the biggest supporting company for oil companies, Halliburton Corp, which is the exclusive partner of Shell and Chevron in Nigeria. Chevron has another important 'messiah' : Condoleeza Rice to whom a Chevron oil tanker was named.
According to human right organisations, oil production in Nigeria is responsible for numerous humanitarian and ecological disasters. But that's not the main concern of Bush and Obasanjo. On the contrary, Bush asked to increase the Nigerian oil production to lower the prices at American gas stations. Bush also never made a secret of the fact that Obasanjo is 'his man' in the OPEC. At the demand of the USA, Nigeria has asked OPEC members to increase their oil production. In exchange for his collaboration Obasanjo is rewarded with the necessary 'entries' at Exxon and Mobil.