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The Nigerian Debt Deal and its Critics

The Guardian is reporting that “The British government has drawn sharp criticism from development charities for taking a debt repayment from Nigeria” worth about £1.7 billion. It is true that the size of the payment from Nigeria to the UK treasury might seem strange given the recent push by Blair and Brown to increase aid to Africa.

A buyback to resolve Nigeria's debt problem

Debt relief and African poverty are firmly on this year’s global agenda, most recently from the Tony Blair-sponsored Africa Commission. But little attention is going to the big elephant in the room: Nigeria.

Even with its oil wealth, Nigeria’s debt burden is enormous given its huge population of 130 million and its extreme poverty—average income is just $330 per year. Increasingly vital to Western energy security, Nigeria is also a worrying source of transnational security threats, including Islamic radicalism, disease, drug trafficking, and international crime.