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Nigeria Supreme Court Gives Federal Government Power Over Oil Resources - 2002-04-05

In a major victory for the Nigerian government, the country's Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government controls the nation's offshore oil and gas resources, not the state governments.

In a unanimous decision today (Friday), the high court in Abuja found the Nigerian constitution gives the federal government power over all the nation's resources.

President Olusegun Obasanjo's government went to the Supreme Court last year after the nation's oil-producing state governments threatened to take control of offshore natural resources, including crude oil, adjacent to their territories. The federal government filed suit against all 36 Nigerian states.

Nigeria is one of the world's largest oil exporters and is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

(afp.reuters,DOE factsheet)