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Endgame for political bickering

Kenyans are gearing for a referendum that will finally bring to a close the long-drawn out constitutional review process which has been going on for at least five years, and has generated extreme temperatures.

What debt relief?

Every borrower country knows how elaborately some Paris Club members have over the past decades interpreted some of their clauses to promote narrow commercial interests while leaving the debts piling up and unresolved.

Nigeria�s brand of federalism risks division

Marginalised ethnic groups in Nigeria have made the battle for the devolution of power and resources from the centre to the regions a battle-cry in recent months, and the government has responded swiftly enough.

Nigerian paradox and disintegration alarm

Concerned patriots who dismiss the prediction of the USA�s intelligence service report that Nigeria may disintegrate within the next 15 years should critically examine the current parlous state of Nigeria.

Entrepreneurs for Africa

Today, as CEO of the Dangote group, Aliko runs its heavy interests in importation. His group controls 60% of the sugar market in Nigeria, and its trading interests in textiles, food commodities and transportation span the West African sub-region, particularly Benin, Cote D�Ivoire and Ghana.

The Ides of spring

It looks like anti-corruption spring cleaning in Nigeria: two ministers fired, the senate president replaced and a sacked police chief handcuffed to court. But will the many fat ladies in and out of the dominant oil sector and across government sing in the world�s most corrupt nation?

Can we trust these figures?

Nigeria may soon announce a record single inflation rate, but disinflation � the deceleration of price increases - is as worthy of celebration as its drivers and context.

Power issues dog Nigeria

Nigeria is notorious for power outages, but the ongoing crisis is the worst yet. This year started with a daily generation of 400MW for 135m people, not to mention security, aviation, telecommunications and industrial installations

Nigeria IMF must get tougher

After a loud parting of ways on the eve of the 2003 presidential election, which now seems theatrical, the IMF - with its World Bank sister � has raised its profile in Nigeria in the past 18 months.

Nigeria dances corruption jig

Once again, Nigeria ranks 144th on Transparency International�s (TI) annual corruption table, although a Haiti- Bangladesh tie at 145th moves it from the second to the third most corrupt country in the world

When in deficit, up fuel prices!

This is the crux of the paralysing government-civil society confrontations over fuel prices which have characterised the five-year-old Olusegun Obasanjo presidency.

Deja vu or reality?

Yet democracy's birth in 1999 was more fortuitous for Nigeria than for some other African countries'. This being the fifth attempt at it, there was a wide acceptance even by the military. Structures were simply resurrected. As an bonus, oil revenues have exceeded expectation, following record world prices.

Shell hangs on in Nigeria

Shell�s production share has slipped from a high of 80% in the face of newer entrants like Mobil, Chevron, Total- finaelf and Texaco, its political power has heightened over the years, reaching its zenith under the military rules of Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha.

Soludo and the banks

In early July, Soludo stunned bank chiefs attending the weekly CBN-banks parley by announcing N25 billion ($180 million) as the minimum capital base - shareholders' funds plus most reserves - to be achieved within 18 months. From January 2006, only banks so endowed will access the crown jewels: public sector deposits and the government's foreign exchange (FX) auction.

New man at CBN

The 26 Nigerian banks among sub-Saharan Africa's top 100 account for only 10 percent of the $13 billion total core capital. Conversely, South Africa's six account for 70 percent.

A slippery opportunity

After their long isolationist military rule, Nigerians are now able to compare themselves with other democracies; as a result, they, have become radicalised by political disenfranchisement and economic alienation.

Contracts, oil, instability

With last month's acclaimed third elections in South Africa, the continent should be celebrating democracy in two of its largest economies. However, democratic Nigeria is so heated up that a recurrence of its habitual military rule, hitherto dismissed by many, is now a present danger.

A complementary relationship

Nigeria and South Africa (SA) have always been intertwined. In primary school, we were taught about Winnie and Nelson Mandela, and other symbols of the anti-apartheid struggle.

The film industry stirs

In an uncommon pleasant turn, an industry which strove even in Nigeria's boom years is not only experiencing a boom amidst the decades-old economic depression, it is also attracting strong international attention. In its defying creativity, the motion picture industry has over the past five years risen above the general socio-economic morass to earn the name Nollywood in global film circles, using crude improvisations reminiscent of the poor beginnings of Hollywood.

The mobility question

Few things degrade Nigerians Jike domestic transportation; which also is the lynchpin for especially agricultural and industrial development, and national security.

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