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I have been working in Nigeria since February 1997 as D.P Engineer on the oil exploration rig Sedco 709

Nigeria is situated on the West coast of Africa a couple of hundred miles North of the equator just where the bulge finishes.

It is the major oil producer on the African continent and most oil majors have a presence here.

That said, its not exactly a place that I would recommend as a holiday destination, the country has improved massively from a security / wellbeing viewpoint over the last 5 or 6 years but kidnapping, robbery etc are still common place, armed police, private security personnel and the army all patrol the streets of the major cities and you certainly get used to the sight of many people either carrying a weapon or being escorted by someone carrying a weapon.

In many ways the presence of the oil industry fuels the unrest and violence, anywhere that there is money to be made you will find corruption and wherever there is corruption there will be violence.

The wealth gap between the rich and the poor is very apparent, the poor existing on less than 1 USD per day, the rich, well to put it into perspective I have paid 4 USD for one beer in a hotel in Port Harcourt and the bar was busy!!.

With this amount of poverty it is hardly surprising that robbery is common and that the  victim is often an expatriate, as there are not many expatriates in Nigeria who are poor.

I could write pages on Nigeria and Nigerians, but I have to work here; suffice to say that Nigeria is the most powerful country in Africa with the possible exception of South Africa.

Generally, the people are used to being in charge and consequently have dominant and aggressive natures.

Picture taken (not by me) during one of the many riots

For further information on Nigeria look elsewhere on the 'net or watch the news, Nigeria normally headlines at least once a week