Jump to navigation

Published 16th April 1999

Vol 40 No 8


Nigeria

The $2.7 billion hole in the bank

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

The military regime is leaving its civilian successor a mountain of dubious debts and undermining prospects for economic recovery

General Olusegun Obasanjo's newly elected government starts work on 29 May. But the bright hope is dimmed by an unexpectedly grim financial legacy from the outgoing military regime of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar. Finance Minister Ismaila Usman has announced that Nigeria's foreign reserves were drawn down by US$2.7 billion, to $4 bn., between the end of December 1998 and the end of March 1999. Senior officials in the People's Democratic Party, which will hold the majority under Obasanjo, have been asking sharp questions about the pace at which foreign reserves have fallen, and the volume of unbudgeted government expenditure.


Fantasy rules

International and regional peacekeeping efforts fail to impress the belligerents

Surrealism is taking over in Congo-Kinshasa. Both President Laurent-Désiré Kabila and his armed opponents insist almost daily that there must be a peaceful resolution of their dif...


The military imbalance

In most regions the rebel forces are driving back Laurent Kabila's soldiers and their foreign allies. In southern Congo, though, neither side is advancing: on 12 April the rebels ...


The fiscal fight

The ANC is winning an unsung victory in the battle to collect the people's taxes

The ruling African National Congress wants South Africa's tax system to do two apparently contradictory things - both to correct social and economic discriminations inherited from ...


Shell-shocked

Caught off guard by UNITA, Luanda is trying to replay its previous military comebacks

No one in Luanda wants to take the blame for the government's string of military defeats by Jonas Savimbi's rebels over the past five months. It has been particularly embarrassing...


Deadly diamonds

UNITA's new armoury is financed by a web of deals from Luzamba to Antwerp

Its coffers full of diamond money, União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola went on an arms-buying spree to mount, first its defence of the central highland...



Pointers

Accidental coup

The murder of President Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara on 9 April was a genuine coup d'etat. After a couple of days' confusion, the dead man's supposed ally, Commandant Daou...