Nigeria Briefing Paper

Oil and the environment while oil extraction and

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Unformatted text preview: to this priority, as the government slowly but steadily nurtures a broadening of its middle class—a classic characteristic of stable democratic systems across the world. Oil and the Environment While oil extraction and refinement is necessary to Nigeria’s economic well-being, this needs to be done in a way that does not have long-term environmental consequences. The government needs to strengthen environmental laws and its ability to enforce them. Multinational corporations need to partner with the government in this regard, since they are the main culprits of environmental degradation in the oil-rich Niger delta. From the Biafran civil war to the execution of Saro-Wiwa and his fellow human rights advocates, it is clear that political stability Nigeria Briefing Paper Copyright © 2005 by College Board. All rights reserved. Available at apcentral.collegeboard.com. 31 in the delta region can only occur when the people living there have a genuine stake in a vibrant and environment-friendly oil sector. Ethnic/Religious Tensions and Human Rights The ethnic and religious tensions that have been detailed in this paper have long challenged political stability in the diverse country. Until a democratic system that addresses this diversity is devised, ethnicity and religion will continue to undermine national authority and, on occasion, foment intergroup violence. Civil/Military Relations In order to assure that the military remains in the barracks during times of political tension, Nigerians need to view civilian governments as the legitimate guarantors of the Nigerian nation, irrespective of political party in power and the ethnic/religious/regional composition of political leaders. Until civilian political legitimacy is established, civil/military relations will remain tenuous at best. HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS has quickly emerged as one of the major public health challenges facing Nigeria specifically and African society more generally. In 2001, there was a 5.8 percent adult HIV prevalence rate in Nigeria, with approximately 170,000 AIDSrelated deaths during the same year. Together with malaria and a host of preventable diseases, the Nigerian government needs to substantially improve the provision of adequate health care, especially to rural areas and poor neighborhoods in urban centers. Nigeria Briefing Paper Copyright © 2005 by College Board. All rights reserved. Available at apcentral.collegeboard.com. 32 Regional Instability Nigeria has been a leader in promoting regional stability, serving as the headquarters for the Economic Community for West African States. It is a founding member of this organization, comprised of 16 countries covering a population that exceeds 210 million people. ECOWAS, under Nigerian leadership, has played leading roles in promoting peace in neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. The government has provided substantial financial support to the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG), along with comm...
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This document was uploaded on 04/02/2013.

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