Friday, March 24, 2006

Violence in Niger Delta is costing Nigeria big time

From the Voice of America (March 24):
Oil Minister Edmund Daukoru, says Nigeria had lost about $1 billion since February when militants in the Niger Delta launched attacks on oil facilities and workers.

Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer had benefited tremendously from recent high crude oil prices. Its oil revenue reached a record $15 billion in 2005 and estimates for 2006 were even higher.

Daukuro says projected revenue for this year would be adversely affected by problems in the delta. It is estimated Nigeria had earned more than $400 billion since production commenced about 40 years ago.

But most Nigerians live on less than $1 a day and the people of the delta are some of the most impoverished.

Wunmi Bewaji, an opposition member of the House of Representatives, says corrupt officials benefit most from Nigeria's oil revenue and therefore any shortfall will not make a difference to ordinary Nigerians.
Expect a serious crackdown really soon. Or Western military involvement.

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