Nigeria: April 21, 2002


Before oil was discovered in 1956, Nigeria was a food exporting country. But since the oil began to arrive, cheaper food imports, and no support for local farmers, has turned Nigeria into a large importer (including over $100 million a year in fruit juice) of food. The large unemployment rate is largely a result of the weak agricultural sector. Traditional African agricultural practices cannot compete, on price, with Western methods. But if the government provided training and capital for local farmers, the nation could become a food exporter once more. But the oil money that could have done this in the past was largely stolen by government officials. The current government, bowing to growing government anger over corruption, is increasing it's prosecution of corrupt officials, even going after senior people like government ministers and provincial governors. 


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