Nigeria Running on Empty
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  • Toni

    An Austrian-born mercenary in Africa* (really) once told me that of every four oil tankers that leave Nigeria, one funds the rampant corruption of its leaders.

    Corruption is another of Nigeria’s many afflictions. There are beaucoup bucks to fight over, and whatever gets done by government and the private sector is done inefficiently and probably badly.

    None plans for falling oil and natural gas prices. Worse, oil and gas compete worldwide. When oil prices get too high, many big users can switch to gas. A drop in gas prices tugs down oil because users can keep burning gas, or switch to it.

    Ergo, all the gas the world fracking revolution brings on the market is bad news for Nigeria, and worse for Nigeria’s multitudinous poor.

    * I don’t know for whom the mercenary had been fighting in Nigeria, but he’d faced a Nigerian firing squad and talked his way free. As apartheid in South Africa was crumbling, he hoped war didn’t erupt, because he’d promised to fight on the side of Zulu Chief Buthelezi.

    One meets the most fascinating people in the cheapest restaurant in a pricey Manhattan hotel. Josef’s other trade was leading big game hunts on his Namibian ranch. (I nearly ran screaming but stayed and learned how dangerous this is.) On this occasion, he was bodyguarding Namibia’s prime minister during the latter’s honeymoon.

    Hey, sorry to go on and on, but I’ve been really lucky to meet a legion of interesting people in my life.

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