June 30, 2007
The mayhem in the Niger Delta is costing about $4.4 billion in damages and lost revenue each year. But the loss is just shrugged off as a cost of doing business. The corrupt leadership is nothing if not adaptable. The Nigerian people are still doing most of the suffering. The shut down oil production means there is less money to steal. The growing number of kidnappings means more jobs for bodyguards and security personnel. The tribe based gangs in the Niger Delta are evolving into businesses, based on intimidation, theft and corruption. The inability of anyone to get really organized means there is unlikely to be a unified and effective rebellion. The system just staggers, with individuals and small groups grabbing what they can.