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Nigeria is an oil rich country on the west coast of Africa with a population of 152 million people. The global recession saw oil prices drop along with demand from the United States. Violence and corruption focused around the oil industry have destabilized the business environment further and discouraged foreign investment. Despite these headwinds, Nigeria's GDP grew over 5% each of the last three years, and with 40% of the population still under the age of 14, Nigeria has plenty of time to continue growing.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, or NNPC, is involved in most of the upstream work behind Nigeria's 2.2 million barrels per day of oil production. They have majority stakes in multiple joint ventures with international oil companies, most notably one with Royal Dutch Shell that accounts for 40% of the country's total production. This past July, a Nigerian Finance Minister announced that the NNPC was technically insolvent and needed $6 billion. This highlights the importance of reform efforts years in the making aimed at privatizing the NNPC to some extent. Not only would foreign investors benefit, but a more profit driven NNPC would mean more money and jobs for the Nigerian people.

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Last updated August 09 2010: 11:34 AM ET
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