newspaper3 - Political Science Newspaper Report 3 Nigerian...

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Political Science Newspaper Report 3 – Nigerian Tribune (April 2007) Nigeria’s economy was historically based in agriculture, especially cocoa, rubber, palm oil, and wheat crops. Substantial petroleum production did not begin until around the 1960s and by the 1970s it overtook the agricultural sector to become Nigeria’s new leading ‘cash crop’, and now accounts for 40% of Nigeria’s GDP and 95% of its foreign exchange. Economic growth in Nigeria has been anything but constant. Nigeria has become so dependent on its oil industry that any fluctuation in the global oil market or any circumstances that affects its oil production determines the economic pattern of the country. Civil unrest in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s most substantial oil producing region, corruption, and political instability has contributed greatly to the erratic pattern of economic growth and hinders Nigeria’s appeal to international investments. Nigeria is the 12 th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8 th largest exporter, but due to the unrest in the oil production regions and the political instability it has not experienced its full potential of production or export. Nigeria is experienced what economists refer to as the ‘resource curse’. Nigeria is ranked 159 th on the Human Development Index (HDI). In terms of Human Poverty, Nigeria falls below the Sub-Sahara Africa average, and ranks 76 th among 102 developing countries. Based on GNP per capita, Nigeria is one of the world’s 20 poorest countries with an annual per capita income of $390. In 2003, 71% of the population was living on less than a $1 a day, and 92% was living on less than $2 a day. Prior to the boom in the oil industry, the vast majority of Nigeria’s population resided in rural areas. As of 2004 47.3% of Nigerians lived in urban areas, up from 23.4% in 1975. Nigeria’s unemployment rate as of 2003 was 10.8%, but that figure has to be
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taken with a grain of salt because most of the population lives in rural areas and rely on their own farming as their way of life. The state has been limiting its influence in the economy as it moves closer to achieving a market-oriented or privatized economy. There have been numerous market reforms to facilitate this process and ensure that the people still benefit. One such reform
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course POLISCI 101 taught by Professor Laraja during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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newspaper3 - Political Science Newspaper Report 3 Nigerian...

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