Sat, Aug 25, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting -- Nigeria 世界走透透: 奈及利亞

A man displays dyed clothing at the Kofar Mata dyeing pits in Kano, Nigeria, April 19, 2007. 一名男子於四月十九日,在奈及利亞Kofar Mata染坊展示染印服飾。

PHOTO: AFP

Nigeria 奈及利亞

Blessed with some of the world's largest oil reserves, Nigeria has the potential to build a dynamic economy. But high levels of corruption and violence plague the country and stifle its development.

奈及利亞很幸運地擁有一些全世界最大的油田,所以有潛力建立一個活躍的經濟體。但嚴重的貪腐和暴力卻困擾著該國,扼殺了它的發展。

A closer look 說古論今

Nigeria's greatest resource is also its greatest curse. Immense oil reserves lie in the Niger Delta and have helped make Nigeria the eighth largest oil exporter in the world. But violence caused by fighting over the oil, along with high levels of corruption, stifles the country's development.

Billions of dollars flow into the country's coffers because of the oil industry - and then flow right back out because of corruption. Very few people end up benefiting from the oil money, and the country lacks the funds to provide even basic services like electricity and running water to most of its citizens.

The government often says, "plans are in the pipeline" to develop the country. Militants in the Niger Delta have taken it upon themselves to counter those plans by literally blowing up oil pipelines, not to mention kidnapping foreign oil workers and making parts of the region unapproachable by even the country's police and military.

Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, made reducing corruption one of the main goals of his presidency. Most analysts feel his intentions were for the most part sincere, but little progress was made.

The country's current president, Umaru Yar'Adua, took over at the end of May and has vowed to continue to fight corruption and to reign in the militants. He has an uphill battle to fight, especially considering that most outside observers feel the elections were a sham and should be nullified.

(Michael Kearney, Staff Writer)

奈及利亞最大的資源也是它最大的詛咒。尼日三角洲蘊藏豐富的石油,讓該國成為全球第八大石油輸出國。但搶奪石油衍生的暴力事件,和嚴重的貪污阻礙了其發展。

石油工業數十億的利潤流入國庫後,卻又因貪污而隨即流出。只有少數人受惠於該利潤,國家連提供如水電給大部分國民滿足基本生活的經費都沒有。

該政府常說,發展國家的「計劃就在油管裡」。不過尼日三角洲好戰的激進份子卻常炸掉輸油管破壞發展,更別提綁架外國石油工程人員的行徑,有些地方連軍警都難以接近。

前總統歐盧塞貢.歐巴桑糾在一九九九年至二OO七年任內,將減少貪污當成最主要的目標之一。大部分的分析家說雖然他還算真誠,但情況改善有限。

而現任總統烏馬魯.亞拉杜瓦五月底繼任後,宣誓仍將持續打擊貪污,並掌控好戰份子。看來他有一場艱苦的仗要打,特別是外界觀察家認為總統選舉是場騙局而該作廢。 (翻譯:張愛弟)

WHO KNEW? 你知道嗎?

In a study published in 2003, New Scientist magazine found that Nigerians are the happiest people in the world. Also ranking near the top were people from Latin American, North American and Western European countries. Ranking near the bottom were people from Russia and Eastern European nations.

Although Nigerians were found to be very happy, they ranked near the middle of the list of 65 countries for satisfaction. Ronald Inglehart, chair of the survey's steering committee, said, "The Nigerian public has a striking tendency to give more very high and very low responses than other publics."

The five happiest nations were Nigeria, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador and Puerto Rico. The US ranked 16th and Britain ranked 24th, demonstrating once again that money cannot purchase happiness.

在一項二OO三年所發表的研究中,《新科學人》雜誌發現奈及利亞人是全球最快樂的民族。而名列前茅的還有拉丁美洲、北美和西歐國家的人民,排名最低的則是俄羅斯和東歐國家。

雖然奈及利亞人很快樂,但他們的滿足感在六十五個受訪國家中僅排名中段。該研究指導委員會主席羅納:英格哈特說:「奈及利亞人有種特別的傾向,他們對滿足感的反應比其它民族更極端。」

最快樂的五個國家分別是奈及利亞、墨西哥、

委內瑞拉、薩爾瓦多、波多黎各。美國排名第十六、英國第二十四名,再次顯示了錢無法買到快樂。

WHAT TIME IS IT THERE? 現在那邊幾點?

Nigeria is seven hours behind Taiwan. When it's 10pm in Taiwan, it's 3pm in Nigeria.

奈及利亞時間比台灣晚七個小時。台灣晚上十點是奈及利亞下午三點。

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