Nigeria has wandered into the news in the past week and not for the kidnapping of western oil workers nor for pollution in the oil regions.

A state of emergency has been declared by the President in certain areas and the border with 3 countries closed as reported by the South African Mail & Guardian today.

There has been a long running problem in the north of the country which benefits less from national oil revenues and where Islamic law has gained legal standing in many states (the political model is based on the USA) which have significant powers. From my time in the country over 10 years ago there have been factions trying to stir trouble and I recall Gaddafi being blamed as a major instigator back then. But that excuse is no more and the troubles which have recently flared are now internally driven.

Nigeria has made progress to reduce corruption since Abacha and his stolen billions but its economy is still too reliant on oil. As a country it produces about 10% of the electricity of South Africa but with a population two and half times bigger, it still imports too much, produces too little and squanders potential . It is currently on trend to double its population in 20 years one of the fastest growths in the world. This will contribute to rising internal tensions in the year and decade ahead. Sadly more bad news expected.

Its a shame to see potential ignored.