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From nobody Sun Jul 13 06:25:42 2003
From: C R Spinner <cspinner@hotmail.com>
Newsgroups: soc.culture.african,soc.culture.south-africa,soc.culture.african.american
Subject: The Bush Agenda in Africa_1
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2003 10:47:35 -0700
Message-ID: <6ci0hv8u0lr79mcdkakcbd10ff1knqo1rj@4ax.com>

Bush’s Trek A Bonus For U.S. Investors

IPS, 9 July 2003

LAGOS, Jul 9, 2003 (IPS/GIN via COMTEX)—President George W. Bush’s visit to Nigeria on Friday will only benefit American investors, says a human rights activist.

It is purely an economic trip. It is to persuade President Olusegun Obasanjo to opt out of OPEC to ensure that the U.S. has a hold on the country’s oil, claims Segun Jedege, programme director of the Lagos-based Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR).

Nigeria, the world’s sixth-largest oil producer, and a member of the powerful Vienna-based Organisation of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC), enjoys huge U.S. investments, especially in the oil sector.

Bush’s visit is not going to benefit the poor masses of Nigeria. The trip will further impoverish the masses through promoting unpopular economic policies like privatisation and removal of subsidies, says Jedege.

More than 30 youths were arrested at the U.S. embassy in the Nigerian capital of Abuja last week. They carried a protest letter to the U.S. embassy, saying Bush’s visit would give legitimacy to Obasanjo’s government which, they claimed, did not legitimately win the April 19 elections

U.S. oil giant Chevron/Texaco is one of the leading prospectors in Nigeria. It says it has spent $5 billion in Africa in the past five years and it will spend another $20 billion on the continent in the next five.

West Africa, of which Nigeria is a leading producer, is regarded as the fastest-growing source of oil and gas for the U.S. market.

African oil already provides 15 percent of American imports and it is likely to rise to 25 percent by 2015, according to Energy Policy Report.

Nigeria produces two billion barrels of crude oil per day.

NEPAD, a programme for the economic development of the continent, commits African governments to good governance in exchange for better trade and aid deals from the developed economies.

NEPAD is seeking $64 billion a year from foreign investors for Africa’s recovery.

Nigeria spent over $350 million in peacekeeping operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past decade, according to official statistics.

Britain and France, which recently sent troops to quell political crises in their former colonies of Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire, have called on the United States to intervene in Liberia, its former colony.

Bush has promised 10 billion U.S. dollars in increased foreign aid to countries that pledge to fight corruption and open their markets.