Nigerian Oil Strike May Slow Flow to U.S.

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A general strike targeting oil exports, scheduled to begin Tuesday, Nov. 16, in 7th largest oil producer Nigeria may lower global supply of oil and raise global oil prices. Yet the major U.S. news media have mainly missed this potential threat, reports an article in the current issue of News Informant. The strike stems from recent steep hikes to the retail price of oil within Nigeria. Beyond the effect to people in the U.S. and other developed nations, the strike poses a challenge to the power of the government of this, the largest nation in Africa.

The major U.S. news media often ignore stories about Africa until after they become major problems. This situation appears to have happened again with respect to the upcoming general strike in Nigeria, even though the outcome may directly affect U.S. consumers and business, says an article entitled, “Nigerian Strike To Focus On Oil Exports” in the November 15, 2004 issue of the weekly web magazine News Informant.

A nationwide Nigerian strike scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 16, will attempt to disrupt the oil exports of this, the world’s seventh largest oil-producing country and the fifth largest provider of U.S. oil imports. “This strike -- if successful -- has the potential to yet again raise U.S. retail oil prices,” says News Informant editor Bernard Perlstein. Yet the story has not been reported at all in most of the major broadcast and print news media, despite the fact that Nigeria is also Africa’s largest country.

The causes for the strike are both simple and complex, Perlstein notes. The strike is aimed at reversing Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Sept. 23 increase of Nigeria's domestic retail oil price by 23%. If the problem of high-priced oil in an oil-producing nation sounds peculiar, then you’re beginning to get a feel for the breadth of Nigeria’s problems, according to the article. “Nigeria’s refining capabilities, much like their other industry, is so inefficient that it is actually cheaper for this large oil-producer to import refined oil on the global market,” says Perlstein.

If the problems is domestic prices, why is the strike aimed at Nigeria's oil exports? "Nigeria as a country is benefiting from near record oil revenues, but not its people, who are suffering from a steep rise higher prices," says Perlstein. "By interfering with its most lucrative industry, strike leaders hope to force President Obasanjo to back down from the Sept. 23 increase in Nigeria's retail oil price," expalins Perlstein.

However, this strike is no longer just about oil prices. “The strike leader, Adams Oshiomhole of the Nigerian Labor Congress [NLC],” Perlstein states, “is now challenging the Obasanjo government for ignoring the Nigerian National Assembly and its stated concerns about oil deregulation.” President Obasanjo, who was first elected in 1999, leads a fragile civilian government in a poor country, with over 130 million people, that has almost as many problems as inhabitants, he adds. “Obasanjo would rather use Nigeria’s limited resources for investment in industry and infrastructure than for subsidizing retail oil prices. But in a country where two-thirds of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, people are more concerned with the struggle for survival than their future.”

The News Informant article in its entirety, and its sources, can be found on the web at: http://www.newsinformant.com/2004_11_15/businesseconomy.php#000881. A free registration is required to view the article.

To request a free copy of the article, or to obtain reprint rights or other use of the article, please contact [email protected]

About News Informant:

News Informant, a publication of News Informant Inc., is a weekly electronic magazine focusing on news analysis of important domestic and global issues that are not sufficiently covered by the U.S. media. The magazine uses respected worldwide online source material to render original information and perspectives. The periodical follows the slogan, “It’s Not Just the News – It’s What’s Behind the News.”

News Informant, founded in 2003, was the brainchild of Bernard Perlstein, who believed that broadcast and electronic journalism too often focused on the excitement of immediate events, to the detriment of analysis of causes and possible solutions.

The magazine is the premier electronic source for news analysis on issues significant to U.S. residents. Making use of features that can only efficiently be provided through the Internet, the magazine, in addition to articles, provides immediate links to additional sources of information concerning the topic at hand.

About Bernard Perlstein:

Bernard Perlstein, founder and editor of News Informant, as well as regular contributor, has had a life-long interest in what is known in the social sciences as “political economy.” Mr. Perlstein established this magazine in order to provide, “the depth of coverage of the vital political, economic and social issues, in a concise format geared for the information age.” His specialties are in Politics, Economics and Foreign Relations. Mr. Perlstein majored in Government and minored in Economics at Oberlin College. He earned his BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MBA from De Paul University.

Mr. Perlstein is an experienced public speaker. He is a veteran member of Toastmasters International, an organization committed to the improvement of the speaking capabilities of its members. Mr. Perlstein is currently President of Park Ridge Toastmasters club and Assistant Area Governor.

For additional information on News Informant or Mr. Perlstein, or for media inquiries, please contact:

Tonya D. Hottmann,

News Informant Inc.

312-644-9868

http://www.newsinformant.com

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