We live in a fast paced world, where the borders from country to country have been erased thanks to technology; you can talk to people in the other side of the world and learn about what they do and current events, but what do you really know about their country, it’s history, and it’s people? Recently, I saw a movie called “Blood and Oil” a 2010 film Directed by David Attwood and written by Guy Hibbert. It was a film about a hostage crisis in Nigeria, involving the government , a British Oil Company and MEND (an African terrorist organization). This movie made me realize how little I knew about this country so I will share some interesting information I found, and hope you find interesting as well.
Nigeria is a country in Africa, and it takes its name from the Niger River, which plays an important part in Nigerian’s lives. Nigeria shares borders with Benin in the west and Cameroon in the east, on the north by Niger. The cost is at the inner corner of the Gulf of Guinea part of the Atlantic Ocean. Its size is about double that of California, it’s official name is Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the 19th century it became a British colony and became independent in 1960. The Official language is English, chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country and due to being a former British colony. This country is known as “The Giant of Africa” it is the most populous country in Africa and the 8th in the world with the largest river in West Africa, Niger. Its population is calculated to be 162 million people and it has more than 250 ethnic groups; Christianity and Islam are the most predominant religions.
Let’s talk about its current economy, Nigeria is classified as a mixed economy emerging market, according to the World Bank it has middle income status, in major part due to its abundant supply of natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communication, transport sectors and stock exchange. Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves. Nigeria is the 50th largest export market for United States goods and the 14th largest exporter of goods to the United States. According to Citigroup, Nigeria will get the highest average GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth in the world between 2010 and 2050. Nigeria is one of two countries from Africa among 11 Global Growth Generators countries. Nigeria is achieving its full economic potential thanks to the restoration of democracy and subsequent economic reforms. It is now the largest economy in the West Africa Region.
Unfortunately this flourish economy was not easy to achieved; Nigeria has had years of military rule, corruption, and mismanagement. In 1966 the instability and corruption of the electoral process led to a series of events that made the country more unstable and increased the ethnic tension and violence. One of the new militant groups coordinated the assassination of the Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. At one point the Nigeria Army was in power, but the Northern Army fought them to become the head of state. The Eastern region voted to become independent and to create its own republic; this was not accepted by the West and Northern regions and would become the birth of the civil war. The war became to an end on January 1970, during the 30 month Civil War the death toll was estimated to be anywhere from one to three million people , from warfare, disease, and starvation.
The movie “Blood and Oil” touches a lot of different subjects, the one that made me go hmmm… was the extent people would go to attain riches and power; and to what point enough is enough? In the movie, four workers are kidnap by MEND the militant group. MEND and the British Oil Company reached an agreement to release the workers but the government ambushes them and kills three of the workers. The fourth man was able to escape and MEND helped him and kept him alive so he could…