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CGD Policy Blogs

 

You’ve Heard of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9. Here’s Nigeria’s 20-20-20 (And This One Might Fly)

Lately I’ve been thinking Nigeria should be a little bit more like, of all places, Iran. Yes, Iran. And maybe Alaska.  Here’s how.

Africa’s most populous nation has been a massive underperformer since independence. It’s earned hundreds of billions of dollars from petroleum exports, but the average Nigerian has little to show for it. At least three decades were lost; average incomes in the mid-2000s were the same as in the mid-1970s. More recently, the economic data has been brighter. And there is always hope that the country has finally turned a corner.

Nigerians Demand Cheap Gas, But Fuel Subsidies Are NOT Pro-Poor

This is a joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz.

Last Sunday the government of Nigeria scrapped fuel subsidies, leading to an immediate doubling of petrol prices. This set off violent protests across the country, threats of strikes by trade unions, and was even lamented by western pundits as a sign of government indifference to the poor. Economists of course view the move as a valiant step toward fixing a deeply dysfunctional budget system. Fuel subsidies were (directly and indirectly) draining the treasury, at a cost of up to US$8bn per year, equivalent to over 25% of the federal budget.

The rub will be if the government can make the case that there’s a better way to spend its resources than through fuel subsidies. Nigerian protesters could be forgiven for being skeptical. Many see cheap gas as the only tangible benefit from their country’s vast oil wealth.

Implications of Ghana’s New Middle-Income Status – Todd Moss

Ghana’s recent recalculation of its GDP led to an overnight $500 per capita jump, putting in motion unexpectedly rapid graduation from the International Development Association (IDA) and ultimately a new relationship with the World Bank. In this week’s Wonkcast, I speak with Todd Moss, vice president for programs and senior fellow at CGD, about his recent trip to the newly categorized lower-middle income country, the implications of IDA graduation, and a sudden influx of oil wealth.

Could Uganda Be the Next Niger Delta?

That’s the question in Alain Vicky’s piece this morning in Le Monde Diplomatique (gated). Vicky warns that oil discoveries in Uganda’s Bunyoro region threaten to heighten simmering tensions between the local communities whose ground is being drilled and the central government which is pocketing the cash. Unmet expectations and popular frustration with politicians could unleash violence and do raise concerns that Uganda might be heading for a rough patch.

The Gulf Gusher & Africa’s Offshore Oil Boom: Todd Moss and Vijaya Ramachandran

Todd Moss & Vij RamachandranAs the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico continues to spew thousands of barrels of oil each day, media attention has been focused on the toll on nearby economies and ecosystems and on the U.S. political response. On this edition of the Global Prosperity Wonkcast, we look beyond the Gulf of Mexico to explore what implications America’s biggest environmental disaster might hold for the new offshore oil boom getting underway in Africa.

Attack on The Oil Curse in Nigeria!

Nigeria is proposing to transfer a 10 percent stake in the national oil company to delta communities; citizens of the delta would then be entitled to cash benefits, delivered through a trust-type mechanism. Read about it here.

That would be a real live breakthrough on a good idea proposed in CGD papers for Iraq and Ghana.