On 2 December, six West African heads of state stood up to the IMF at a conference it organised, arguing that development will come to a standstill if the Bretton Woods institutions do not change their approach.
Cityscapes: Lagos and Abuja
Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos has seen some environmental improvements under the state’s new Governor Babatunde Fashola. New road projects have begun to make sense of the city’s chaotic traffic, and street traders have been removed from the motorways. There is talk of light-rail projects to revolutionise the mass transit of workers, and the development of an export- processing zone at Lekki will shift the centre of economic activity eastwards from the overcrowded centre. Funding has come through improved tax collection and a couple of bond issues.
Lagos is witnessing the addition of new top-of-the-market hotels to give competition to the 30-year old Eko Hotel and Suites. Already open are the reconstructed Federal Palace and the Chinese-owned Lagos Oriental Hotel on the Lekki motorway. More are on the way, including a Golden Tulip and two airport hotels.
Abuja has three major hotels, notably the Transcorp Hilton, the Nicon Luxury and the Sheraton, as well as a popular and growing range of middle-level hotels.