Archive for the ‘Nigeria’ Category

State Department Travel Warning: Nigeria

October 23, 2011 Comments off

State Department Travel Warning: Nigeria
Source: U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria, and continues to recommend U.S. citizens avoid all but essential travel to the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers; the Southeastern states of Abia, Edo, Imo; the city of Jos in Plateau State, Bauchi and Borno States in the northeast; and the Gulf of Guinea because of the risks of kidnapping, robbery, and other armed attacks in these areas. Violent crime committed by individuals and gangs, as well as by persons wearing police and military uniforms, remains a problem throughout the country. This notice replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated October 19, 2010, to update information on recent violent activity and crime in Nigeria.

On August 26, 2011, a suicide bombing at the UN Headquarters in Abuja killed 23 people and wounded more than 80 other individuals. This attack was the first against an international organization and the fourth bombing in Abuja during the past year. It followed a similar bombing against the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters ten weeks earlier that killed five individuals on June 16. These bombings were in addition to bombings elsewhere in Maiduguri, Suleja, and Jos throughout the last year.

The risk of additional attacks against Western targets in Nigeria remains high. In December 2010, a bomb exploded near an Abuja “fish bar,” killing several people and injuring many others. Also in December 2010, several explosive devices detonated in Jos, Plateau State, and alleged members of an extremist group attacked police and others in Maiduguri, Borno State, leading to significant casualties. In October 2010, two car bombs detonated in downtown Abuja during Independence Day celebrations, killing ten and wounding many others. Since March 2010, five improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have detonated in the Niger Delta region, causing one to three reported casualties in each case.

External Sustainability of Oil-Producing Sub-Saharan African Countries

August 28, 2011 Comments off

External Sustainability of Oil-Producing Sub-Saharan African Countries
Source: International Monetary Fund

In the extensive empirical work carried out across the IMF on oil-producing sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, the notion of “sustainability” is often directed toward fiscal policies, and, in particular, views on the “optimal” non-oil primary fiscal deficit. The bulk of this work does not, however, address external sustainability, which is a concern especially for those SSA oil producers operating under a fixed exchange rate regime. A couple of recent papers have extended the existing methodologies to assess external sustainability for some oil-producing countries but they do not focus on those in sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, we bolster this empirical work by providing a range of estimates for the long-run external current external account balance for each of the SSA oil-producing countries, based on three widely used methodologies in the IMF. Our research strategy is to apply these models to the eight countries in the subregion – Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, and the Republic of Congo – using similar simplifying assumptions so that we are using the same lens to view how they do and do not differ.

+ Full Paper (PDF)

Country Analysis Brief: Nigeria

August 28, 2011 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Nigeria
Source: Energy Information Administration

The Nigerian economy is heavily dependent on the oil sector which, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), accounts for over 95 percent of export earnings and about 40 percent of government revenues. The oil industry is primarily located in the Niger Delta where it has been a source of conflict. Local groups seeking a share of the oil wealth often attack the oil infrastructure and staff, forcing companies to declare force majeure on oil shipments. At the same time, oil theft, commonly referred to as “bunkering”, leads to pipeline damage that is often severe, causing loss of production, pollution, and forcing companies to shut-in production. The industry has been blamed for polluting air, soil and water leading to observed losses in arable land and decreasing fish stocks.

Map: Niger Delta Oil Infrastructure

Map of the Niger Delta Oil Infrastructure


 In addition to oil, Nigeria holds the largest natural gas reserves in Africa but has limited infrastructure in place to develop the sector. Natural gas that is associated with oil production is mostly flared but the development of regional pipelines, the expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure and policies to ban gas flaring are expected to accelerate growth in the sector, both for export and domestic use in electricity generation.

In order to remedy some of the oil, natural gas and electricity industry problems, the Nigerian government is currently debating a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that is designed to reform the entire energy sector (see oil section). The Bill was first introduced in 2009 and although parts of the PIB have recently been made into law, the Bill in its entirety continues to be debated by the National Assembly. This ongoing debate had delayed investments in oil exploration, project development and has also affected the natural gas sector by delaying planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

Country Specific Information: Nigeria

July 24, 2011 Comments off

Country Specific Information: Nigeria
Source: U.S. Department of State

July 20, 2011

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Nigeria is a developing country in western Africa that has experienced periods of political and communal violence. It has the largest population on the continent, estimated at over 150 million people, and its infrastructure is not fully functional or well maintained. Read the Department State’s Background Notes on Nigeria for additional information.


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