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Nigeria

Yearbook 1997

Nigeria. According to the government, Nigeria's economy was good: inflation was manageable, the foreign exchange reserves had more than quadrupled in one year and oil revenues increased. However, the World Bank found that neither income nor consumption was relatively higher than in the early 1970s. The World Bank calculated with a more than 25% higher external debt than stated by the government and with a growth of only 3.5% instead of the government's 5.5%. Per capita GDP fell from $ 1,160 to 260 in 1980-97, making Nigeria one of the world's 20 poorest countries.

According to Countryaah, oil accounted for 90% of N's export revenue, but according to the World Bank, 10% was cut. In 1997, Nigeria experienced periods of fuel shortages due to strikes, technical problems and acute financial difficulties for the state oil company NNPC. During the summer, the company could not afford to maintain production. The economic crisis also affected new prospecting and maintenance of facilities.

Interest in the return to a parliamentary system controlled by the military junta was limited. The five parties approved by the military were unopposed. After the municipal elections in March, the state elections were held in December with very low participation. There was much to indicate that the junta leader Sani Abacha was planning to run for office in the 1998 presidential election. Pending the announcement, no one else dared to show interest. In November, Abacha reformed the government and promised to release some political prisoners, which were interpreted as an attempt to gain popularity.

Several explosive attacks and armed clashes between different ethnic groups reinforced the image of a country in social crisis. Nigeria remained excluded from the Community in the English-speaking Commonwealth and made a close encounter with the French-speaking countries.

Imprisoned General Shehu Musa Yar'Adua died in December under unclear circumstances. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for participating in an alleged coup attempt in 1995. Shortly after his death, twelve people, including the military junta's second-ranger General Oladipo Diya, were arrested for a new coup attempt.

In June, Nigerian music's biggest star, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, died as well known for his opposition to the country's many military junta as for his music. In October, 88-year-old veteran politician Michael Ajasin, leader of the opposition group National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) passed away.

1997 Nigeria

In June 2001, violence broke out in the state of Nasarawa, bordering the capital. The occasion was the death of an Azara leader, and it sparked a fierce conflict between the Azaras and the Tiv minority. 40,000 were displaced as a result of the conflict.

Murtullah Mohammed was head of government during the military dictatorships and had spent hundreds of millions in the 1970s. US $ on a plan prepared by a small unknown North American company. The plan was to hang telephone cables in huge balloons to be sent 7 km up into the atmosphere. A single balloon was never launched and what happened to the money remains unknown, but today only 1 in every 300 Nigerians still has a telephone - a privilege reserved for a small minority of 400,000 people. Telephone wires rarely come over shoulder height and the system is so old and poorly maintained that just having a conversation within the same city can take an entire day.

In August 2001, the telephone system was so miserable that even the ministers' international conversation was interrupted without prior warning. The country's two largest mobile telephony companies, Johannesburg MTN and Wireless Econet, then declared that they would implement a "revolution" in the telephone system, but the frequent power cuts and the overload of the electricity network mean that the companies have to equip all their transmitters with emergency power systems. At the same time, each of the companies must pay DKK 285 million. US $ to the government in licensing fees. According to data from Transparancy International, Nigeria is the world's second most corrupt country, surpassed only by Bangladesh.

In October, President Obasanjo, together with South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika, launched the New Partnership for Africa Development (New Partnership for Africas Development, NEPAD), which will involve the rest of the world in supporting Africa's development. NEPAD obliges African states to stand up for open government, respect human rights and bring to an end the armed conflicts, in return for increased development assistance and to raise the barriers to trade that African export goods encounter outside the continent.

In the past few years, Islamic Sharia law has been introduced in dozens of Muslim states, which has sparked widespread debate and violent protests. The law requires stoning as punishment for adultery, amputation of limbs for theft and whipping for minor offenses such as consuming alcohol and sexual relationships before marriage. In January 2002, a man was hanged in the state of Katsina. He thus became the first to be punished with death since the introduction of Sharia.

In October, the Hague International Court handed down its verdict in the Nigeria-Cameroon border dispute. The verdict affirmed Cameroon's sovereignty over the Bakassi Peninsula. The Nigerian government announced that it would conduct a detailed study of the judgment and that it would defend its right to the area. Only in August 2003 did the government announce that it abandoned the demand for Bakassi.

 

 

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