Fun in Nigeria
Let's see, in 2004 oil companies paid 27 billion U.S. dollars to Nigeria and Nigeria has about 130 million people. That's a lot of people, you know. It's Africa's most populous country. Anyway, 27 billion dollars divided by 130 million is about $208 U.S. dollars a year for every person in Nigeria. That might not sound like much to us rich bastards in the first world, but since the average Nigerian lives off just a few dollars a day at best, it's quite a lot of dough. Or at least it would be if the average Nigerian actually got it. But for some strange reason a lot of the money seems to be spent on luxury cars, military equipment and deposited in overseas bank accounts, none of which really helps the average Nigerian. Funny that. It's almost as if the people who make up the Nigerian government aren't entirely trustworthy. But I'm sure there must be a good reason why not much oil money seems to be getting to the people. Maybe the government entered the wrong pin number three times and the national ATM ate their cash card? Anyway, to avoid such problems in the future, wouldn't it be good if the oil companies, and by oil companies I mean Shell, did something like give the money directly to all Nigerians instead of giving it to the government? They could give each and every Nigerian $100 a year and put the rest into indexed personal investment funds which will pay dividends but the capital can't be touched because they'll need that when they run out of oil. But what about the poor government, you cry? How will they get money? Well they can do what most countries do, which is tax people. In fact, if they had to get their money from taxing people then they might actually do things that encourage people to make more money instead of just whacking them around the head with a truncheon.