Thursday, June 13, 2002

I remember first hearing the story about Nigeria, Oil, and the brutal execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa a few years ago. I was shocked and appalled (although not as quick to blame the oil company as some people I knew were), and had been hoping that things had improved recently, or at least been ameliorated somewhat. Apparently not. It would appear that things have simply gotten worse, and Nigeria's status as a poster-child for the downside of globalization continues unabated. It's a status that I doubt anybody would want. The worst thing about it? The government that is now oppressing the people of the Niger Delta is a popularly elected one, and the body that finally put the screws to the people who extract all the oil (and are drenched with an oil-slicked environment) yet recieve none of the profits (as opposed to the government itself) was Nigeria's Supreme Court, which means that this is all, yes, perfectly legal.

Sadly, this shows once again that although there may indeed be economic benefits for a nation that engages in foreign trade, there's no guarantee of whom that windfall will go to and whether there won't be nasty repercussions.

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