Stability in Niger Delta = Success for Nigeria

David Goldwyn, the U.S. State Department’s coordinator for international energy affairs, told an April 13 panel discussion sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the Obama administration is “strongly committed to helping Nigeria with its problems” and “will bring the resources of the U.S. government” to bear in areas such as expanding electricity use to create jobs and bring economic benefits to the delta.

Nigeria is important to U.S. policymakers, Goldwyn said: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited in August 2009; President Obama met with Nigeria’s acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, on April 11; Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson has visited a number of times; and the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission was launched April 6.

All these efforts, the U.S. official told the panel, are meant “to bring all the parts of our government together to work with Nigeria as partners on solving some of the core problems facing the nation.” But “the lead … on strategies and plans … will come from the acting president and his Cabinet.

The key to Nigeria’s economic progress is stability in the Niger River Delta, where the bulk of the country’s oil and natural gas is produced and where a smoldering militancy and sabotage of production facilities threaten progress for the region’s 30 million residents, energy experts say.

Full article.

Back ground Video on the conflict.

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