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Title page
Table Contents

1.1       Introduction
1.2       Statement of problem
1.3       Objectives of Study
1.4       Significance of the Study
1.5       Literature Review
1.6       Theoretical Framework
1.7       Hypotheses
1.8       Method of Data Collection

2.1 The Domestic basis of Obasanjo’s Economic Diplomacy
2.2 What is Deregulation?
2.3 Nigeria’s Deregulation Sectors
2.4 Contributions of Deregulation to Nigerian Economy Under Obasanjo
2.5 Deregulation and Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria
2.6 The Impact of Deregulation on the Overall Development of Nigeria Economy

3.1 Nigeria’s Debt Profile
3.2 Debt Management Efforts of Nigeria
3.3 Obasanjo’s Overseas Trips and Quest for Debt Forgiveness: An Assessment

4.1 Dimensions of Economic Crimes
4.2 Domestic Legal Instruments of Combating Economic Crimes
4.3 Combating Economic Crimes and Foreign Investment

5.1 Summary and Conclusion
5.2 Recommendations

            The economic diplomacy of President Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003 was dictated by the mood of the international community and the general state of African economies. President Obasanjo’s economic programmes are hinged on the neo-liberal theoretical framework. This is evident from the economic path he has been traveling on since he took over. All his programmes have the nuances of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). When Obasanjo took over from the military junta of General Abdulsalami Abubakar on May 29 1999, Nigeria was more or less a pariah nation with negative and offensive international media attention. Transparency International consistently rated Nigeria as most corrupt nation on earth. In 1998, out of 85 nations surveyed in its corruption perception index, Nigeria was rated 81. This deteriorated in 1999 when out of 99 nations surveyed, Nigeria was rated 98 ( This negative rating affected the influx of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as most foreigners were wary and indeed reluctant to invest in such insecure environment. The response of President Obasanjo, which was aimed at reassuring the international community, was the signing into law of an anti-corruption law in 2000. This law gave the President the impetus to go round the world and preach to perspective foreign investors to come to Nigeria and invest. Events after four years of promulgating this law have shown that is a toothless bulldog and tool of witch hunting the enemies of the president. Between 2000 and 2003 the rating of Nigeria by Transparency International has nit got better.
            Nigeria is a goldmine waiting for the right combination of the necessary ingredients of leadership and policies to transform the vast and breath-taking resources entrenched on its soil to achieve a better life for its citizens and befitting position in the comity of nations. It is regrettable that in spite of the country’s huge natural resources, 70 percent of its over 130 million people live below poverty level, that is, less than a dollar per day. Nigeria’s seemingly intractable developmental conditions are confounding. The data of Nigeria’s resources are intimidating and impressive. In 1991, the estimated proven reserves of crude oil in sub Sahara Africa were 21.7 billion barrels or 2.2% of world reserves. About 79% is located in Nigeria. By 1992, Nigeria had seven sedimentary basins, 880 oil fields already discovered, whereas only 180 had been developed. In addition, there are several underdeveloped marginal fields and large tar sands (bitumen) deposits, estimated at over two billion barrels (This Day, 20/10/2004:48).
Also in the gas sector, natural gas deposits outweigh oil by far. Nigeria has an estimated 120 trillion cubic feet of gas; about three times the size of oil reserves.
            Other areas like the solid mineral sub-sector and agriculture have already been unexplored. In the face of this plenty, Nigerians wallow in the most obscene and scandalous poverty. According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Report of 2003 about 70% of Nigerians live in abject poverty (www.undp.orgng/docs/POVERTY-PSI.doc). Regrettably, this state of affairs was superintended and sustained by the nation’s successive leaders who were part and parcel of the United Nations conventions on development.
            Presidents Obasanjo, as part of his strategies to attract foreign inflow of capital intensified the privatization programme by divesting government interest in various state enterprises and deregulating the economy. The deregulation policy impacted positively on the economy in the area of the telecommunication. The dismantling of the monopoly of NITEL (Nigeria Telecommunication Plc) brought in its heels other operators and new technologies into the telecommunication sector. Prior to deregulation, NITEL had about 700,000 lines with a tele-density that was far below the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) level but after deregulation in 2001, the combined telephone line from all operators including the GSM operators jumped to over five million in three years. The Minister of Communication Chief Cornelius Adebayo said that the worth of foreign direct investment in the Telecommunication sector as at 2004 was in the neighborhood 0f $4.1 billion (Vanguard 11/10/2004:34).
            The Achilles heel of the deregulation policy of Obasanjo’s regime is the downstream sector if the oil industry. While the government has withdrawn all the subsides, if any, in this sector, it has failed to put the necessary structure in place. The current deregulation in the oil sector has merely dismantled the monopoly of oil importation by the Nigerian Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Importation of refined petroleum products is an open sesame as any person or company with the wherewithal can engage in it. The aspect of opening up the area of domestic refining has been in abeyance. The three refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna, which are in various stages of moribund, have not been able to meet any significant percentage of local petroleum products demand. The result is the dependence of the economy on imported fuel. This would not have been much of a problem but that the domestic market now responds to the vagaries of the international oil prices. The effect on the economy has been spiral inflation and pauperization of the masses.
            The Obasanjo regime has also channeled its energies towards the reduction of the debt profile of Nigeria. President Obasanjo in championing this cause has combined his presidency with other African leaders like Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Abdulazeez Bouteflika of Algeria and Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal to form the New Partnership of African Development (NEPAD).
            Although Obasanjo has traveled the industrial world times, he has not succeeded in convincing the creditor-nations to reduce the volume of Nigeria’s debt either bilaterally or multilaterally through Nigeria’s inclusion in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiatives. As Obasanjo himself acknowledged, “in three years, I went round the countries in Europe twice over, I went to Japan, to America, to Canada and got good words….but no action at all (Gani Fawehimni, “The Absentee President of Nigeria”, quoted in Financial Times, 2002).  
            Obasanjo’s economic diplomacy especially as encapsulated in his global leadership of G77 is enshrined in timidity and good boy disposition. Rice (2000) reports that G77 Chairman President Obasanjo “ruled out a joint decision by poor countries to suspend debt payment, saying that it would interfere with aid transfers that some nations depend upon for part of their domestic budgets”. The implication of this is that Obasanjo does not contemplate a radical solution to debt burden of Nigeria. Indeed, he preaches subservience as a tool to obtaining debt relief and this underscores his economic diplomacy on this major determinant of the economic trajectory of the Nigerian state.
            As part of his effort to tackle corruption and other economic and financial crimes necessary to attract foreign investors, Obasanjo has taken certain domestic steps.....

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