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2006年VOA标准英语-Initiative Seeks to Improve Life in Nigeria's T

时间:2007-05-05 01:17来源:互联网 提供网友:ABCjun   字体: [ ]

By Gilbert da Costa
23 October 2006

Tensions in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta1 have flared2 in recent months as local communities accuse foreign oil companies and the government of reneging on promises to provide jobs and social amenities3. Gilbert da Costa in Abuja reports for VOA on a new initiative that seeks to create opportunities and improve living conditions in the long-neglected region.

An Ijaw militant4 loyal to Dokubo Asari, protects the jetty at Okorota, near Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in this June 25, 2004 file photo
The Niger Delta, which provides all of Nigeria's crude oil, has a long history of militants5 attacks and kidnappings at oil facilities.

Violence in the delta, a wetland region, is rooted in poverty, corruption7 and lawlessness. Most of the inhabitants have seen few benefits from five decades of oil extraction that has damaged the environment.

President Olusegun Obasanjo, while endorsing8 a new U.S.-led initiative to improve living conditions in the delta, acknowledged that corruption had blighted9 the oil-rich region.

Olusegun Obasanjo
"Even when money was made available either to regional development boards or even to the government, a lot of it went into corruption, and what needs to be done was not done," he said. "I hope now that we are becoming partners, we will be watching one another. I f we jointly10 put money, I will make sure you do not spend it the way you should not spend it. And we are getting people from the private sector11, from outside who would say, government put in your money. If you put one billion [Naira], you will then not say to us that a contract that is worth 50 million [Naira], you will give it away for 50 million."

Most of the delta's people have no access to clean drinking water or regular sources of electricity.

The U.S. Agency for International Development in partnership12 with the Dutch-based Shell Oil company and the Bayelsa state government hope to address some of the region's long-standing economic grievances13 under a multi-million-dollar initiative. The initial phase of the project estimated at $50 million, involves cassava production and processing, aquaculture, and improvement in health delivery.

An unidentified Shell contract worker stands outside Warri airport after being evacuated14 from Benisede oil platform following an attack by militants, Jan. 15 2006
Shell Oil is Nigeria's largest oil producer, and it accounts for almost half of the OPEC-member nation's daily crude output.

Shell's deputy chief executive in Nigeria, Mark Corner, says the company is willing to commit more funds to social and economic programs in the Niger Delta and appealed for a more conducive15 environment for its operations.

"It is an obligation of our company, and other oil companies generally as good corporate16 citizens, to make sure we are putting something back in the communities, in terms of social and economic development," he said. "We are committed to do that, but we need help. We are experts in oil-and-gas production, we are not experts in social development, health, education etc. So, the concept of partnership is one which is fully17 supported by us."

Critics say that activities of oil companies in Nigeria have been a major contributor to the poverty and deprivation18 endemic in the region. President Obasanjo wants oil companies to provide more resources to help in addressing the delta's development challenges.

"The oil companies are ready to spend millions of dollars for public relations in Europe, in America," he said. "This is where the problem is, this is where the problem is ... You employ lobbyists and things there, this is where you need to spend the money. You said though you are not in the business of social development, but you are not in the business of public relations either. All that money you are spending on public relations, come and spend it here. You spend money advertising19 there, this is where the problem is."

A U.S.-based company has also reached a partnership with three Nigerian banks to provide $2.5 billion in mortgage financing for Bayelsa.

Analysts20 say the new Niger Delta initiative offers the delta its best chance of a turning point, especially given the direct involvement of foreign partners like USAID.

An ethnic21 Ijaw child carries a jerry can to waterfront in village of Okerenkoko in Niger Delta (file photo)
The poverty-stricken region has seen millions of dollars provided for its physical development pocketed by corrupt6 officials.

A representative of the USAID, Patricia Fleuret, says the U.S. government is committed to the programs that will bring a better future to the region and reduce tensions.

"I came not just for USAID, but also representing the World Bank and DFID [British Department for International Development] to congratulate you on your Bayelsa Partnership Initiative," she said. "It is a strategy that we hope to see replicated22 around the country and we hope to support throughout. We also like to say, I come with the full authority of the U.S. government to say that we will continue to look for ways to support your initiatives. Anything we can do to further assist you, we will."

As the demand for the delta's oil-and-gas resources becomes greater, it is expected that other major world powers will take a more critical interest in the long-term development of the Niger Delta.


1 delta gxvxZ     
  • He has been to the delta of the Nile.他曾去过尼罗河三角洲。
  • The Nile divides at its mouth and forms a delta.尼罗河在河口分岔,形成了一个三角洲。
2 Flared Flared     
adj. 端部张开的, 爆发的, 加宽的, 漏斗式的 动词flare的过去式和过去分词
  • The match flared and went out. 火柴闪亮了一下就熄了。
  • The fire flared up when we thought it was out. 我们以为火已经熄灭,但它突然又燃烧起来。
3 amenities Bz5zCt     
n.令人愉快的事物;礼仪;礼节;便利设施;礼仪( amenity的名词复数 );便利设施;(环境等的)舒适;(性情等的)愉快
  • The campsite is close to all local amenities. 营地紧靠当地所有的便利设施。
  • Parks and a theatre are just some of the town's local amenities. 公园和戏院只是市镇娱乐设施的一部分。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 militant 8DZxh     
  • Some militant leaders want to merge with white radicals.一些好斗的领导人要和白人中的激进派联合。
  • He is a militant in the movement.他在那次运动中是个激进人物。
5 militants 3fa50c1e4338320d8495907fdc5bdbaf     
激进分子,好斗分子( militant的名词复数 )
  • The militants have been sporadically fighting the government for years. 几年来,反叛分子一直对政府实施零星的战斗。
  • Despite the onslaught, Palestinian militants managed to fire off rockets. 尽管如此,巴勒斯坦的激进分子仍然发射导弹。
6 corrupt 4zTxn     
  • The newspaper alleged the mayor's corrupt practices.那家报纸断言市长有舞弊行为。
  • This judge is corrupt.这个法官贪污。
7 corruption TzCxn     
  • The people asked the government to hit out against corruption and theft.人民要求政府严惩贪污盗窃。
  • The old man reviled against corruption.那老人痛斥了贪污舞弊。
8 endorsing a5b3f1341cd4294ff105734a1ff0bd61     
v.赞同( endorse的现在分词 );在(尤指支票的)背面签字;在(文件的)背面写评论;在广告上说本人使用并赞同某产品
  • Yet Communist leaders are also publicly endorsing religion in an unprecedented way. 不过,共产党领导层对宗教信仰的公开认可也是以前不曾有过的。 来自互联网
  • Connecticut Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman is endorsing Republican Senator John McCain. 康涅狄格州独立派参议员约瑟夫。列波曼将会票选共和议员约翰。麦凯恩。 来自互联网
9 blighted zxQzsD     
  • Blighted stems often canker.有病的茎往往溃烂。
  • She threw away a blighted rose.她把枯萎的玫瑰花扔掉了。
10 jointly jp9zvS     
  • Tenants are jointly and severally liable for payment of the rent. 租金由承租人共同且分别承担。
  • She owns the house jointly with her husband. 她和丈夫共同拥有这所房子。
11 sector yjczYn     
  • The export sector will aid the economic recovery. 出口产业将促进经济复苏。
  • The enemy have attacked the British sector.敌人已进攻英国防区。
12 partnership NmfzPy     
  • The company has gone into partnership with Swiss Bank Corporation.这家公司已经和瑞士银行公司建立合作关系。
  • Martin has taken him into general partnership in his company.马丁已让他成为公司的普通合伙人。
13 grievances 3c61e53d74bee3976a6674a59acef792     
n.委屈( grievance的名词复数 );苦衷;不满;牢骚
  • The trade union leader spoke about the grievances of the workers. 工会领袖述说工人们的苦情。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • He gave air to his grievances. 他申诉了他的冤情。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 evacuated b2adcc11308c78e262805bbcd7da1669     
  • Police evacuated nearby buildings. 警方已将附近大楼的居民疏散。
  • The fireman evacuated the guests from the burning hotel. 消防队员把客人们从燃烧着的旅馆中撤出来。
15 conducive hppzk     
  • This is a more conducive atmosphere for studying.这样的氛围更有利于学习。
  • Exercise is conducive to good health.体育锻炼有助于增强体质。
16 corporate 7olzl     
  • This is our corporate responsibility.这是我们共同的责任。
  • His corporate's life will be as short as a rabbit's tail.他的公司的寿命是兔子尾巴长不了。
17 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
18 deprivation e9Uy7     
  • Many studies make it clear that sleep deprivation is dangerous.多实验都证实了睡眠被剥夺是危险的。
  • Missing the holiday was a great deprivation.错过假日是极大的损失。
19 advertising 1zjzi3     
n.广告业;广告活动 a.广告的;广告业务的
  • Can you give me any advice on getting into advertising? 你能指点我如何涉足广告业吗?
  • The advertising campaign is aimed primarily at young people. 这个广告宣传运动主要是针对年轻人的。
20 analysts 167ff30c5034ca70abe2d60a6e760448     
分析家,化验员( analyst的名词复数 )
  • City analysts forecast huge profits this year. 伦敦金融分析家预测今年的利润非常丰厚。
  • I was impressed by the high calibre of the researchers and analysts. 研究人员和分析人员的高素质给我留下了深刻印象。
21 ethnic jiAz3     
  • This music would sound more ethnic if you played it in steel drums.如果你用钢鼓演奏,这首乐曲将更具民族特色。
  • The plan is likely only to aggravate ethnic frictions.这一方案很有可能只会加剧种族冲突。
22 replicated 08069c56938bbf6ddcc01ee2fd848af5     
复制( replicate的过去式和过去分词 ); 重复; 再造; 再生
  • Later outplant the seedlings in a replicated permanent test plantation. 以后苗木出圃栽植成重复的永久性试验林。
  • The phage has replicated and the donor cells have lysed. 噬菌体已复制和给体细胞已发生裂解。
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