On January 1, 2012, Nigeria’s fuel regulator announced that the government was immediately discontinuing its fuel subsidy to help cut government spending, causing an overnight spike in fuel prices from $1.70 to $3.50 per gallon. Such a hike would be outrageous even for Americans. But for a drastically poorer country like Nigeria—where 70 percent of the population of 160 million lives below the poverty line—it was insufferable. Cheap fuel is one of the few benefits Nigerians enjoy as citizens of Africa’s largest (and the world’s 14th-largest) oil producer.
Nigeria is facing a perfect storm of crises including a national strike, widespread protests, and sectarian violence in the north. Although the strikes, attacks, and protests raise the specter of another civil war in Africa’s biggest oil producer, the United States and the international community should avoid aggravating the situation by seeming to encourage a military solution.
Two weeks before Nigeria’s election, Ike Okonta takes aim at progressive politics in Nigeria – or the lack thereof. He traces the crisis back to the rule of General Ibrahim Babangida in the 1980s, when universities were devastated by economic policy.
One of the WikiLeaks documents sheds light on how Pfizer Pharmaceutical conducts business overseas.
The Nigerian government needs to show commitment to the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa by passing relevant laws and allocating funds to women’s rights.
In the wake of the environmental disaster caused by the 20 April explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the oil multinational was immediately pressured into providing adequate compensation by the US government. This is an experience palpably not shared by Nigerian people in the face of another multinational, Shell, in the country’s Niger Delta, writes Alex Free.
President Barack Obama’s election brought jubilation to the streets of Nigeria. However, hopes for a new U.S. engagement with Africa under the Obama administration are dimming. Nigerians are rankled by two high-profile events that illustrate how U.S. foreign policy still ignores the opinions and perceptions of African people.
For the past two months, the Nigerian military has been engaged in a standoff with armed resistance groups in the Niger Delta. The full-scale offensive, launched by Nigerian forces on May 13 with fighter-planes and gunboats, has destroyed villages and displaced upwards of 30,000 people from the region.
It is almost impossible to imagine, as we sit in a well-lit, fully functioning gas station on Main Street, USA, that a community blessed with oil riches under its soil could look as impoverished as Yenagoa in the Nigerian state of Bayelsa.