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Nigeria Foreign Reserves Rise To 58.3 Bln Dlrs(results?)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080314/wl_africa_afp/nigeriaeconomyreserves_080314124556

so would we gain anything from this oil boom??

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75 answers

Atleast we know we have 58.3 billion $

Singapore has 120 billion

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the figures are just what it is,figures if its not having any bearing on the standard of living of nigerians,idont agree with giving 95% of oil revenue to the niger delta because apart from the problems it might bring between the tribes the likes of ibori,alams and the rest of them and their clique will just have more money to steal and spirit away overseas also i reckon the presidential system of government we r practicing in nigeria is wayyyy too expensive and i agree with power being in the centre which in my opinion is true democracy as it doent leave much room for the sort of abuse we r having now from the likes of them obj and co,

lastly we shouldnt forget the niger delta benefited from the income generated before the oil boom and so its only right that the oil revenue should be shared with all the states,the fact that we have corrupt leaders should not be a reason to do this and not forgetting that a lot of money was actually allocated to the niger delta and so its not the fault of the nigeria government if the south-south governors,councill chairmen and the rest of 'em decide to line their pocket with the allocation

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we are not punishing anyone, were was the uproar when the pockets of this country was funded by cash crops from the north and south west.  niger delta aren't an autonomous region, so i don't see why part of their income doesn't belong to nigeria.

you are right, no one is asking for niger delta to lose the taxes they already change on oil companies. shell just started a 200billion dollar development program in the niger delta. are northerners or yoruba asking for a share?? no.  companies such as chevron and total have had such projects too. the problem is poor governance in niger delta and not other regions siphoning the morning. remember niger-delta development project under abacha??

during the depression in the US, money was siphoned from all available means to alleviate the suffering of the party.  there's no point in having a federation if people aren't willing to sacrifice. nigeria can as well dissolve

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Ur argument would be entirely right, if not for the fact that those people who are charged with the task of Nation building both at the local and federal level are very corrupt. Even the populace have taken corruption as a normal way of life. Public funds are meant to be squandered. It would take a whole lot to institute the culture of accountability into our politicians. Even the populace have to undergo series of re orientation to disabuse thier minds from "biziness" as usual. That my friend is a daunting task. Not impossible but really daunting and would take a looong time.

I really believe that the region of the country that makes the bulk of the Nation's revenue should be the one benefitting most from the revenue. But simply giving more money to this region( a la thier politicians ) would unfortunately not solve the problems of the Niger Deltans. It would not solve the youth problems in the ND, it would not build roads or schools in the villages. Nor would it bring constant electricity to the rural areas. It would just be another avenue for a bunch of politicians to get richer at the expense of those the money was actually meant for.

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@4 Play, regional competition might not be a panacea to our problems, however what it represents is what is most important. Every part of the country striving to move the country forward instead of the nonchalant attitude that has come to symbolise our current disposition. With a more serious approach towards nation building do you think there will be tolerance for corruption? It is about what it represents, people finally waking up from sleep to develop the nation and trying to change it in the areas they are or in the areas they can as opposed to getting cosy with poverty and corruption. When people are working towards a common goal do you think there will be as much tolerance for a few who want to spoil it? And you are still saying it is the worst thing ever that could happen?

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Bawomolo@

why should we punish one part of the federation for its natural endowment.

The situation is analogous to your low tax position onthe United States. You would not countenance

higher taxes for the rich to pay for social programs for the poor.

So also you should not distribute revenue that is generated from the Delta to other parts of the Federation in the name

of poverty alleviation.

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nigeria has a 70% poverty rate, everyone needs the money, not only the people of niger delta

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@SkyBlue

Accountability has nothing to do with regionalisation.You were talking about regional competition as if that were a panacea to our problems.Corruption is not about whether you are running a federal or unitary state.I tend to think there is actually more opportunity for corruption with decentralisation.Diversifying the power structure simply means diversifying the avenues for enrichment.

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If only politics attracted ethical human beings, instead of greedy conniving individuals.

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@4Play, ok i think we are getting into a cycle now, LOL. Everything that i need to say i think i already have but let us just clear things up. The money that we make now, is it being used to develop the country? is it being used to build power stations, to create jobs, to create an environment that is appealing to investors, to improve education, to promote industrialisation? Is this happening around the country? If your answer is no then why is it? Could it be that this money is going into the pockets and private bank account of leaders? If the figures you claim are right, then is the problem with revenue generation or government and leadership? If the problem is with that then isn't the solution not really about resources but making sure that whatever money is obtained is used to develop the nation? If you could give Nigerians just 24hour power supply that even ghana enjoys and good roads and security and water, do you think Nigerians all around the country (south, east, north and west) will wait for anyone? So shouldn't the real problem be with holding people in power accountable? So what have we been arguing all this while for?

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How can we get past the agricultural stage when [b]we [/b]have not completed it?

Nigerians need a nation wide system so as to adequately develop this sector that is fundamental in all great nations.

The day Yar' Adua and company can provide Nigeria with stead light source, improve transportation system,the economy will be allowed to flourish.

But until there is a sense of transparency in all levels of Nigerian social system(government, business, individuals) nothing will be able to change.

Sharia law in my eyes is indeed unconstitutional and needs to be outlawed. But we all know that this is not the reason why the north is suffering badly. Middle East countries also use this system, Northern Hausa sates need to value education for it is the chalice of hope and there lies in the dilemma.

Nigeria's problems are not those of Niger and vice versa, just as Benin's problems are not those of Nigeria's.

Nigeria's problems lie in all of Nigeria. Make Nigeria more transparent and it will flourish.

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Where is this agricultural sector in the north?

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https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/ni.html

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We have been in this phase for how long?

When will we be able to adequately feed all nigerians? When oil is selling for $108/barrel and we still cant find 3-square meals, is it when oil becomes $2/barrel that we'd be able to afford to feed the nation?

What are we even doing to get past ur agricultural state of dev?

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Hmmm. . .Well with the North as presently constituted, there is hardly any way forward.

The South is basically subsidising a religious cesspit.

But the Cheap Labour and the vast expanses of Land might come in useful some day I suspect.

@4play

Deregulation of the Oil Industry I agree with. But it will not prevent the unequal eventuality which you warn against.

The South will prolly grow faster than the North in any case.

So I do not knw what manner of economic policy will stop the unequal development of the different regions. The result will be thesame

Are they not encroaching on our patch already as the Sahara stretches its borders.

But the current arrangement is holding the South back, not the Niger Delta alone. We should endeavour to make the South as Rich as possible by not encumbering it. therein lies the only recourse for the country.

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Nigerians need to understand that we are in the agricultural state of development. The day that we can adequately feed all Nigerians we will be able to move forward.

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@4Play, i don't believe there is anywhere on this thread i was talking about shifting resources about. Wasn't the north producing some food for the country decades ago? So why can't they go back to agriculture? Why are we so quick to jump unto the whole splitting up thing? If Nigeria was well run would we be calling for a split? I hope we are not confusing our hate for the Nigerian leadership with our hate for Nigeria. Of course if you develop an area people will flock there, it is only natural. But if you spread the development, which can only happen simultaneously in our current disposition if states start working instead of waiting for oil revenue, then there will be development and growth in more areas. Hence population won't just flock to one area, but can flock to more areas, and even with that more people compared to now can carve out a career in their own regions instead of thinking they have to go to lagos or abujja to "make it". if we had competition between regions, this could drive economic development.

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@4PLAY

You sure about your figures so

I find it hard to believe ooo. that significant chunk of our GDP is from agriculture ke. . .

Eye must see am first

well depends on what you consider significant abi.

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I don tire . . . . there is just one solution, get ur family out of that hole called nigeria.

Another failed state goes down the drain.

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You think the Gov or people of Zamfara will suddenly turn a new leaf and start showing dynamism in economic matters? These are attitudes formed over hundreds of years. If they didn't improve themselves when they had the resources from the South,they won't do so when they don't have any.

Look at the people of Niger Republic,has not having access to oil money changed them? Has it made them more competitive or resourceful ?

All you will get is migration and political instability.As long as we are one country,we either develop together or we stay poor together.You can't starve one region into becoming more resourceful.

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We have tried ur medicine and it has only met with limited success. I think pretty much every one is with you on the fact that with the north there is very little hope of going forward.

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The usual medicine-deregulation,privatisation,e.t.c

My view is that as long as we have the North,we can never achieve our full potential.All this talk of shifting spending around from one region to the other won't change anything

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The only solution is to break up the country.You can't force change by shifting spending from one area to the other.As long as we are in the same country,we are stuck in the same boat.

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4 Play . . . u are right. But oil should have been a catalyst for our development and not the curse it is today.

What the Niger Delta is agitating for is not even 100% control of their resources but 50%.

The idea is to engender some form of competition to drive economic growth. We literarily have no economy right now . . . if oil prices crash to $30/barrel today we'd be in serious trouble.

We have oil and we cant refine a drop! Shame on us . . . we are too busy arguing about sharing the proceeds with no thought for using this extra cash to develop other viable sources of income.

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Its not about about uniformity of development,its the simple reality of belonging to one country.If Country A has $100bn to spend annually. It spends $60bn in the North and $40bn in the South where most of the resources come from.If it decides to start spending $90bn on the South,nothing will change as such.Its still 90 + 10 =100.

You guys are thinking that the North will be forced to generate funds to make up for the lost spending.That is not what will happen.If the North didn't develop when you were spending $60bn,it won't develop when you are spending $10bn.You don't generate growth and economic development by investing less.

At some point,people from the North will simply start coming down South in huge numbers and dilute whatever improvements you have in the South for its inhabitants.

How do you grow economies and diversify revenue?Sound economic policies not shifting spending from one region to another.

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Every time you step off Lagos Airport and probably have a tour of the country,take a good look around you.How much of the infrastructure you see was built prior to 1966? Far more was built in Nigeria between 1970 to 1980 than was built in the preceding 70 years of the country's existence.

Lets not exaggerate how good things were in the 60s(there is a reason the country degenerated into a civil war)You are talking of an era expectations were lower.Most of the country didn't have electricity,good roads,hospitals,telephones,modern housing,e.t.c.This was an era where the entire University graduands for the Western region for a particular year would number about 400 to 500 people.

We were growing from a very low economic base-what you find in places like S.Leone,Liberia,Mozambique,e.t.c-but it was only untill the discovery of oil that things really kicked off economically. If we had never found oil and continued on that path,we will still be very poor.The 60s are very much exaggerated.

As for Japan,it was already a well developed nation before the 2nd World War,which was why it was able to fight the US and the British Empire to a standstill until Hiroshima and Nagasaki.All that was needed was simply rebuild what was bombed and the country will continue where it stopped.

Japan's story goes to show one thing,the greatest resource a nation has is its human capital.When Nigeria was plodding along with its cocoa and palm oil,how much of our human capital did we develop? The various regions were still producing graduates only in their hundreds after 60 years of Nigeria's birth.

We would have ended up like the various African countries that don't have oil.What will make a difference is sound economic policies not the import-substitution nonsense we were doing in the 60s.Almost all African countries were growing in the 60s,a fallout from growth from the colonial era,but look where they all ended up.

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Development is not wholly driven by natural resources . . . that is why Africa is lagging behind the Asian economies. These people used the advantage of cheap labour to woo all these western industries to set up billion dollar investments. Look at your ipod, its probably built and shipped from China, look at ur underwear . . . maybe Pakistan.

Why cant we have a branch of Microsoft here? Michelin tyres just packed up in PH . . . why arent major car companies here? We have the cheap labour that these people need, just 3 of these multinationals in a single state like Kebbi is enough to ensure they can comfortably survive without a penny from oil resoures.

Why cant we have large scale agriculture subsidised by crude oil resources from the FG? We'd be self sufficient in terms of food and even have enough to export.

2 well maintained seaports in Lagos serving as the central hub of all shipping in the west African region is enough to keep Lagos afloat without oil.

This is how nations without oil are surviving, we can do the same if only we take the pains to look beyond our selfish desires to amass ill-gotten wealth ably fed by free oil cash disbursed with no recourse to accountability.

Let our governors start doing something to generate their own funds . . . we'd have less incentive to rig elections as only those willing to work and not just wait for allocations would put themselves up for elections.

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Nigeria is in a mess. Prior 1966, we had infrastructures laid down that guaranteed the North was producing pyramids of ground nuts while the South have plantations of Palm Oil. To the best of my knowledge , not even a blue print exists in any of the states to develop thier own revenue. Most states have been are still being milked dry by the politicians. My local government chairman is doing nothing in terms of developing his purview. Money comes in from the state government and he just gulfs it down with his cohorts. I believe that is almost the same story with most local government. I would not even advocate increasing the allocation given to MY local government. It only means more money for the local politicians and more misery for the man on the street. Until people are made to have the fear of the law any solution would just be a cosmetic one. Just changing tunes.

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Nigeria is in a mess. Prior 1966, we had infrastructures laid down that guaranteed the North was producing pyramids of ground nuts while the South have plantations of Palm Oil. To the best of my knowledge , not even a blue print exists in any of the states to develop thier own revenue. Most states have been are still being milked dry by the politicians. My local government chairman is doing nothing in terms of developing his purview. Money comes in from the state government and he just gulfs it down with his cohorts. I believe that is almost the same story with most local government. I would not even advocate increasing the allocation given to MY local government. It only means more money for the local politicians and more misery for the man on the street. Until people are made to have the fear of the law any solution would just be a cosmetic one. Just changing tunes.

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Abi ooo. . .when dem suppose dey learn Technical Drawing, they are going to ILE KEWU

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@4Play, you are making it sound like 'turn by turn' development. So you mean we all have to get cosy with the situation of having only two functioning cities? Then why on earth won't those cities be overcrowded? So cities can't develop simultaneously? If government of regions are serious about generating revenue then they will. I have asked before, so what were we doing before oil, waiting for oil? If we have at least 5 more functioning cities and development driven by competition, then that won't make a difference? Has government gotten so lazy that each regions government's job is just to wait for money they did not earn to spend it? But let us not lose sight of this, it is not about moving funds to a region or whatever. it is about whatever fund we have being actually spent to improve Nigeria. This is not happening at the moment and hence it does not matter who gets what money. And states can't keep on being lazy. This should be a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitic one

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true . . . but isnt it about time we started to diversify the economy?

Our budgets are entirely drawn around the price of crude oil. The most important item on every government official's daily list is to check on current oil prices so as to calculate monthly allocation that will accrue to him.

Our governors are forever quarelling with the FG NOT on matters that affect the people but on how to "share" excess crude funds . . . haba!

Why is a state like Zamfara declaring sharia and then demanding oil funds to pay for an illegal state religious structure that is opposed by the vast majority?

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4play. . . . . .You are beginning to sound like a Bolshevik

'The country grow together'. When that one start.

There is simply no way, around it. Uniform development of all the regions is nigh impossible.

One region will always develop faster than the other.

It is in this instance that your libertarianism tendencies come in handy.

If we accept that everybody cannot come up together. . . .the most important thing then is to make the

richer regions as rich as possible and then it can drip down to the poorer regions.

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Does the FCT have an economy? The presence of fancy buildings is not a sign of development . . .

What we have is not an economy perse but a money distribution system.

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I agree that as matter of fairness,oil producing regions should enjoy more of their resources.However,if someone is saying that it will make much positive impacts on their lives,that is demonstrably false.

If you are saying that it will lessen dependence on oil,that is clearly untrue.

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4 Play . . . what did we use to build all the structures we had prior to 1966?

We didnt have any oil and each region was forced to fend for itself and we did it quite well. The south was generating close to 3m pounds a yr without a drop of oil by the 50s . . . why cant we do the same?

Japan has not a drop of oil, suffered 2 atomic bombs in 1945 and YET are the world's second largest economy . . . haba!

I'm not advocating a unilateral withdrawal of government funding . . . like Doyin13 suggests let us start by slowly reducing the amount of allocation over a 5-10yr period . . . until each region (those states are a drain on our scarce resources) becomes fairly self sufficient.

Competition is what drives development . . . sitting down waiting for monthly allocations while doing nothing is  the reason our politics is so monetised today . . .

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So you are saying,for instance, that the FCT doesn't have more infrastructure than the 5 Igbo states? All those tarred roads and impressive buildings I see in the North or Abuja came from where?

See what happens.If you take Anambra and the FCT.The FCT's economy is much larger than that of Anambra(there is really little basis for comparison)but are FCT indigenes better off than Anambra indigenes?No. If you spend money in one particular place unlike others,more enterprising people from other regions will simply move and dilute the gains for the locals.

FCT indigenes would have been far better off if very little migration took place but that is impossible.Spend money on Lagos and people will move to Lagos.Spend money on the Niger-Delta and people will move there.

The way to solve the country's problems,especially its dependence on oil,is not to simply shift spending to one particular area but through sound economic policies.Unless you break up the country,the country has to develop together or we won't develop at all.

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@ 4Play, now if we had other states trying to develop and create jobs and generate their own revenue (which isn't that difficult), instead of this comfort with mediocrity while waiting for pay check, people won't all have to rush to lagos, they can develop their own areas. That is an advantage of competition between regions and areas.

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The reallocation obviously by itself is not a panacea to our problems. It has to be accompanied by other measures.

And you make it sound like the spending will be a deliberate skewering to favour the Niger Delta.

Such an allocation rejig will only be disentangling the federal allocation mess, allowing local populations to reap the full rewards of their

resources.

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@4Him

Nigeria's dependence on oil is not a problem that will be solved by reshuffling the allocation formular.I think what you are saying is that if the other regions didn't have access to oil revenue,they will be forced to seek other means of raising money with the effect that we have diversification of the economy.

This is akin to shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.The implication of what you are saying is that the way to develop other region's economies is through less public investment.Remove or reduce money they spend on infrastructure-roads,schools,hospitals,public utilities-and these places will blossom economically.

If you actually want to diversify our economy,its about economic reforms-privatisation,deregulation,lower taxes,fighting corruption,e.t.c Simply shifting funding from one place to the other won't achieve the desired purpose.If your suggestion were carried out,Nigerians will simply migrate to the Niger-Delta and dilute whatever gains the local people would have gotten.The Niger-Delta will become like Lagos or Mexico City,huge populations but little difference in living standards for locals.

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@ 4Play If you read through my posts you will see that i have been encouraging autonomy of states, but what i am saying to you is that you are assuming that the money spent in the north was used for development. If money is not that important then why are we bothered about what happens to foreign reserves? Those states that got all that money are still the way they are because the money was not spent on wisely on the people but instead went into pockets. If the money was spent to generate power for the north, provide good water, you are still saying their lives won't be improved? In an ideal situation states should strive to generate their own revenue and be more active instead of waiting for money, money which if used wisely can make a difference

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The issue is not developing one area to the detriment of the other.

Oil will run out in 40yrs . . . are we preparing for that event or what resource will become the new goose that lays the golden eggs?

For how long are our governors going to remain nothing more than caretakers going to abuja every month to beg for "allocations"?

Pretty much nothing goes on in terms of governance at the grassroots level, local governments only exist in name . . . all they do there is share money to government cronies and everyone goes home.

In 40yrs time there wont be money left to "share" . . . what will we do then?

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@SkyBlue

If you spend money on a particular region at the expense of others,it won't improve appreciably the living standards of the indigenes of that region any more than that of the others.

This is the reality we have witnessed in Nigeria.Look at all the money spent in the North or in Abuja.Do you think the indigenes are better off than others?

To improve living standards significantly,you have to improve it across the nation.You can't isolate one region within a country and seek to improve its living standard without bothering much about the rest.

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Allocation is not all of it, but it is almost 80% of it.

Too many people sitting on their hands waiting for money.

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I am less worried about who gets what money . . . i'm more interested in how to develop a system where indolence is no longer rewarded in the name of "federal allocations".

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@ 4Play So if the money is actually used by government to complete projects like power plants etc, to provide water, to provide good roads so that vehicles don't keep needing mechanic every three weeks hence leaving money for other stuff that won't improve the standard of living? Won't "good looking" environs attract investors that would pump money into the place, creating more jobs for people? I do believe that until we hold leaders accountable all this giving states money won't achieve anything. But your arguement that the money won't change anything? I simply don't understand where you are coming from

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Of course,I know that.Many people have expressed the wish for their region to look like Dubai.I understand the almost vain desire to have your environs littered with concrete structures and "flyovers". That is partly a Nigerian mentality.

However,the average indigene of the area that constitutes the Federal Capital Territory is no where better off than the average indigene of Orumba in Anambra State.The latter has no flyovers or even a single skyscraper in his hometown.

Yes,we can indulge Nigerian's(in this case the Niger-Delta)crave for "good looking environs". The underlying issue still remains-it won't make much of a damn difference to their living standards.

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Okay 4play. . . .what sound economic policies would you suggest for the Naija environment

Maybe that would enlighten us further

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But I bet the Niger Deltans would rather their environs look like Abuja than what obtains at the moment.

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