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Vol 40 No 7

Published 2nd April 1999


Nigeria

Muddy waters

Friends of President-elect General Olusegun Obasanjo say he is incensed by the decision of the outgoing military regime under Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar to award 11 oil exploration blocks and eight oil lifting contracts to a group of well-connected military officers and local businessmen. The lack of accountability in the awards of some of West Africa's richest exploration acreage (alongside blocks where Shell, Texaco and Agip have made major discoveries) may have cost the treasury millions of dollars. Some Western officials say the awards and the associated mismanagement of public funds could damage Nigeria's chances of securing debt relief.

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