NIGERIA: The Cement Block

Like the greedy little boy whose eyes were bigger than his stomach, oil-rich Nigeria, thanks to a colossal spending binge, is in one dreadful financial mess. The most visible sign of it was outside Apapa, port for the capital city of Lagos. Last week no fewer than 406 ships of all shapes and sizes were backed up waiting their turn for dock space. At least one vessel has been stuck outside Apapa since last February. Maritime experts call it the worst shipping jam in modern history.

Nigeria last year earned $8 billion from oil...

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