Get the low down on
credit card offers.
Free games and
demos for your PC.
Nigeria is a federal republic composed of 36 states and a capital territory, with an elected president and a bicameral legislature drawing their authority from the 1999 constitution. In April, President Olusegun Obasanjo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was reelected to a 4-year term after being declared winner in elections that international and domestic observers stated were marred by serious irregularities and fraud, including political violence. At year's end, opposition parties continued to challenge the election in court. The elections also resulted in the ruling PDP winning 70 percent of the seats in the national legislature and 75 percent of the state governorships. Although the judicial branch remained susceptible to executive and legislative branch pressures, the performance of the Supreme Court and decisions at the federal appellate level were indicative of growing independence. State and local judiciary were significantly influenced by political leaders and suffered from corruption and inefficiency more than the federal court system.
The Federal Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is tasked with law enforcement and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) officially reported directly to the President. Internal security is the duty of the State Security Service (SSS), which reports to the President through the National Security Advisor. Police were unable to control ethno-religious violence on numerous occasions during the year, and the Government continued its reliance on the army in those cases. While civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces, there were some instances in which elements of the security forces acted outside the law. Security forces committed several serious human rights abuses.
The country's market-based economy grew 3.3 percent in real terms in 2002, and most credible estimates project a slight decline to 3.2 percent growth during the year. Inadequate infrastructure, endemic corruption, and general economic mismanagement hindered economic growth. Most of the population of approximately 130 million were rural and engaged in small-scale agriculture, which accounted for only 42 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Increased unemployment was a problem. Much of the country's wealth remained concentrated in the hands of a small elite. Corruption, nontransparent government contracting practices, and other systems favored the wealthy and politically influential, including: A banking system that impeded small and medium investor access to credit; and regulatory and tax regimes that were not always enforced impartially. Wages and benefits have not kept pace with inflation. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that 91 million citizens lived below the poverty line and were subject to malnutrition and disease.
The Government's human rights record remained poor, and the Government continued to commit serious abuses. Elections held during the year were not generally judged free and fair and therefore abridged citizens' right to change their government. Security forces committed extrajudicial killings and used excessive force to apprehend criminal suspects, and to quell some protests. There were several politically-motivated killings by unknown persons during the year. Security forces regularly beat protesters, criminal suspects, detainees, and convicted prisoners; however, there were fewer reported incidents of torture by security agents than in previous years. Impunity was a problem. Shari'a courts sentenced persons to harsh punishments including amputations and death by stoning; however, no amputation or stoning sentences were carried out, and one of the judgments was dismissed on appeal during the year. Prison conditions were harsh and life threatening, and conditions contributed to the death of numerous inmates. Security forces continued to arbitrarily arrest and detain persons, including for political reasons. Prolonged pretrial detention remained a serious problem. The judicial system often was incapable of providing criminal suspects with speedy and fair trials. Government authorities occasionally infringed on citizens' privacy rights. The Government at times limited freedom of speech and press. The Government continued placing limits on freedom of assembly and association, citing security concerns. Some state governments placed limits on some religious rights, and some government programs discriminated between religious groups. The Government occasionally restricted freedom of movement for security reasons in areas of unrest and used lethal force at checkpoints. Domestic violence and discrimination against women remained widespread. Female genital mutilation (FGM) remained widely practiced in some parts of the country, and child abuse and child prostitution were common. Intercommunal violence remained a problem. Some militant members of the Ijaw ethnic group in the oil-producing Niger Delta region continued to commit serious abuses, including unlawful killings and kidnappings, leading to violent reprisal attacks by the Itsekiri ethnic group. Ethnic and regional discrimination remained widespread, and localized discrimination and violence against religious minorities persisted. Some restrictions on worker rights continued. Some persons, including children, were subjected to forced labor. Child labor continued to increase. Trafficking in persons for purposes of prostitution and forced labor was a problem, and collusion of government officials in trafficking was alleged. Vigilante violence continued throughout the country, particularly in parts of the South.
Section Navigation : back | next
NCBuy Home |
About NCBuy |
Members Center |
Site Map |
Link 2 Us|