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Nigeria’s plan to redistribute recovered corruption money needs a rethink

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The Nigerian government has announced that USD$322 million (£244 million) stolen by Nigeria’s former military ruler, Sani Abacha, has been returned by the Swiss authorities. Abacha, an army general who was head of state from 1993 until his death in 1998, is suspected to have embezzled between USD$3 to 5 billion of public money.
Plans have also been announced to distribute the recovered loot to around 300,000 households in 19 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Under the plan each household would get around USD$14 a month. The handouts would be paid to poor Nigerians for about six years.
Roberto Balzaretti, one of the Swiss officials involved in the negotiations with Nigeria, reported that there would be strict conditions attached to the transfer of the money back to Nigeria. Nigeria has signed a memorandum of understanding with Switzerland and the World Bank agreeing the modalities for the return of the stolen funds.
The Nigerian government has opted for cash payments to be made to help poor families as part of the Nigeria National Social Safety Net Program. The money is to be paid in instalments and in small amounts under the supervision of the World Bank, which will also conduct regular audits. If the first instalment is not properly accounted for, subsequent payments will be halted. This is to prevent the funds from being stolen again.
But there are fears that this is not the best way to use the recovered funds and that the “distribution” is just a ruse to influence the Nigerian elections next year. Concerns have been raised that it’s an easy way for the ruling political party to score cheap points ahead of the 2019 polls. And there are strong views about how the money can be better spent, particularly on the country’s crumbling infrastructure.

Vote Buying?

The money is being returned to Nigeria at a delicate time. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has announced that he will be seeking reelection next year. This despite his ill health and corruption scandals.
Nigerian politicians are infamous for buying votes.
Suspicions that the redistribution scheme is another vote buying ruse have been fuelled by the fact that the government plans to give money to only 19 states out of the 36. The government has said that 17 states where excluded from the scheme because they didn’t have the “appropriate platform” to implement the conditional cash transfers.
There are also fears that the recovered loot might end up in the coffers of ghost beneficiaries.
The Nigerian house of representatives – the lower house of Nigeria’s bicameral National Assembly – has passed a motion that the money must be distributed in line with the country’s revenue sharing formula for disbursing money to all 36 states.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, a Nigerian nongovernmental anti-corruption agency, has added its voice to criticisms of the plan. It has pointed out that the distribution of funds is mis-targeted and would not bring any tangible benefits to the beneficiaries.

The project argues that the president should renegotiate the memorandum of understanding with the Swiss authorities in consultation with the communities affected by grand corruption so that the recovered loot can be put to better use.

A better way?

Is there a better way to utilise the recovered loot?
Nigeria needs proper procedures to manage recovered money as it continues with its anti-corruption agenda. The government will be better placed in the future to manage recovered funds if it has a coherent plan detailing how they should be handled. The plan will need to be overseen by the country’s anti-corruption institution.
There’s a strong view that the recovered money should be used to foot the bill for infrastructure projects that would improve the lives of the victims of corruption and also help alleviate poverty.
Infrastructure projects, such as proper transport systems and power generation, also have the advantage of being highly visible and could be easily tracked through Budgit and Tracka. Construction projects would also create jobs.
There is a clear link between infrastructural development and economic growth – an area where Nigeria could really do with some help. The country struggles from infrastructure deficits, particularly in power generation, transport, education and health care.
Experts also argue that giving the money to poor households will only serve as temporary respite from poverty. Investing in infrastructure that can improve growth, employment, production, education and health care would create better and longer-term value.
The government might be wise to listen to these views.

 

Tolu Olarewaju
Lecturer in Economics, Staffordshire University

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World Humanitarian Day: Osodieme Calls for Selfless Living

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The wife of Governor of Anambra State, and founder of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE), Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has called on Nigerians to imbibe the culture of selfless living in order to promote harmony and good neighborliness in communities.
In a Special  Message in Awka on the occasion of the commemoration of World Humanitarian Day 2018, signed by Chief Media Officer, Emeka Ozumba, Osodieme observed that there is a growing trend towards selfishness which suggests that we are fast losing the very essence of humanity.
According to her, “World Humanitarian Day reminds us of our responsibility to be humane and selfless in relationship with fellow citizens in the face of complex challenges that we all face every day which has seriously eroded the values we once held dear as Christians and peoples of faith. Our world and communities is increasingly strewn by strife and privation which has left many of us selfish, thankfully we are today reminded that it is high time we rediscovered the act of charity.”
Osodieme reiterated that many across the world, our nation and communities now feel dispossessed and often do not get heard:
“Today many are internally displaced either by conflict or natural disasters like flooding and have become refugees out of no fault of theirs. Therefore, let us rise and assist in the spirit of onye aghana nwanne ya. It behooves on us as Nigerians especially ndi Anambra to reach out to our neighbours and those in need either in the form of advice or little help which tends to go a long way in healing the larger society.”
Osodieme explained that she has tries to do her best through the programmes of her NGO, CAFÉ by supporting the less privileged especially indigent women and widows many of whom received the twenty-one 2-Bedroom bungalows she has built and donated free across the state, and over four thousand trained and empowered in various vocational trades. She further stated that her passion is not just helping the needy, but in teaching people to fish in other to live sustainable life rather than just giving them fish or handouts.
World Humanitarian Day is a day dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. The Day is marked every year on 19th August to express solidarity with people affected by humanitarian crises and pay tribute to humanitarian workers who help them.
PHOTO: Wife of Governor of Anambra State, and founder of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE), Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme).

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I am back: Buhari writes Saraki, Dogara

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President Muhammadu Buhari has written a letter to Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, informing them of his resumption of duties as President and Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.
According to the presidential aide, the transmission of the letter to the two arms of the legislature, the Senate and the House of Representatives, followed the completion of Buhari’s 10-day working leave.
In the letter titled “RESUMPTION OF OFFICE” personally signed by him, on Saturday, President Buhari said: “In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), I write to intimate the Senate (House of Representatives) that I have resumed my functions as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from today, Saturday 18th August, 2018,after my vacation.
“Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, (Hon.Speaker, House of Representatives) the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that he would not spare anyone found guilty of any corrupt practice or sabotaging the nation’s economy.
The President gave the assurance when he spoke to a correspondent of the NTA on arrival from London on Saturday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after his 10 working day vacation.
Buhari, who was reacting to happenings during his absence, including the cases of defections by politicians, said the incidents were part of the beauty of democracy.
He, however, advised all eligible Nigerians to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to enable them elect public officers of their choose.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President was received by a large crowd of well-wishers, party supporters, and other Nigerians.
The Air Force jet carrying the President landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international Airport Abuja at about 6.38p.m.
Those at the airport to welcome him included Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi; Service Chiefs; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Musa Bello and Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha.
Others at the airport were the Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, the acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu and members of the presidential media team.
The return of the president has put to rest the social media report that he had extended his vacation in London.
Buhari on Aug. 3 commenced a 10 working day holiday and transmitted a letter to the President of the Senate and the Speaker, House of Representatives to that effect in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.
While the president was in London, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo acted on his behalf in line with the constitution.

 


Ismaila Chafe /Abuja NAN

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Osodieme Commends Nnewi North and South Support for Obiano

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By Emeka Ozumba
The wife of governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has commended the commitment and support of the people of Nnewi North and Nnewi South Local Government Areas for the governor, Chief Willie Obiano and progress of the state as demonstrated by their massive support during the last elections.

(L-R): Representative of Osodieme and Member Representing Orumba South Constituency at Anambra State House of Assembly, and Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Princess Nikky Ugochukwu receiving a Portrait presented by Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi South Hon Felix Odimegwu at Ukpor during the Empowerment tour of Nnewi South Local Government Area.

Osodieme who was represented by the Member Representing Orumba South at the State House of Assembly, and Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Princess Nikky Ugochukwu expressed the appreciations Friday at Nnewi North and Nnewi South Local Government Areas headquarters respectively in the course of her on-going Empowerment tour of the twenty-one Local Government Areas of Anambra State.
Osodieme assured people of the Council areas that the governor is committed to fulfilling the promises he made to them and the entire ndi Anambra.

(L-R): Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi North, Prince Chukwudi Orizu, Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon Afam Mbanefo receive the Representative of Osodieme and Member Representing Orumba South Constituency at Anambra State House of Assembly, and Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Princess Nikky Ugochukwu on arrival at Nnewi during the Empowerment tour of Nnewi North Local Government Area.

She explained that the empowerment tour is to reach out to the less privileged, stressing that she apart the usual humanitarian gestures, her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) is ever ready to train indigent women, widows on new skills that would help them to be self-reliant and ultimately able to provide for their families.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Social Welfare, Women and Children Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue, said that the collaboration between CAFÉ and her Ministry has ensured that the governor Obiano’s policy of carrying everyone along is sustained. She thanked Osodieme for embarking on the Local Government tour to touch base with ndi Anambra even at a time of lean resources.

(L-R): Representative of Osodieme and Member Representing Orumba South Constituency at Anambra State House of Assembly, and Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Princess Nikky Ugochukwu, Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Barrister Rita Maduagwu, former Commissioner for Information, Chief Maja Umeh, Mrs. Igbanoi and former Commissioner for Information, Chief Maja Umeh at Ukpor during the Empowerment tour of Nnewi South Local Government Area.

In their remarks her counterparts who are indigenes of the two Council arrears; Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Hon Afam Mbanefo, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Greg Obi, praised Governor Obiano and his wife, Osodieme for their dedication to charity and continuous effort to improve fortunes of the citizens of the state.
The Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Barrister Rita Maduagwu, thanked Osodieme for once more remembering her constituency in her empowerment programmes. The Speaker prayed for the governor’s wife, stressing that “those who remember the needy obtain abundant heavenly enrichment.”

Empowerment items for the less privileged

Also in their Vote of thanks Members Representing Nnewi North at the State House of Assembly, Hon. Amala Anazodo, and that of Nnewi South Constituency one, Barrister Kingsley Iruba, eulogized Osodieme for her passion for mankind and charitable programmes which they observed has touched the nooks and crannies of Anambra state and helped re-energize many of the downtrodden.
Earlier in their welcome remarks at Nnewi and Ukpor respectively, the Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi North, Prince Chukwudi Orizu, and his Nnewi South counterpart, Honourable Felix Odimegwu, affirmed that Osodieme has touched every aspect of the human society by giving succour to the underprivileged in the society and called on ndi Anambra emulative her exemplary work.
The Empowerment programmes at Nnewi and Ukpor Council headquarters was witnessed by government functionaries and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) including former Commissioner for Information, Chief Maja Umeh and other community based associations.

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Meet the Teacher Who Dares to Speak With Boko Haram

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Few people talk openly about Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. Even fewer talk to them. But in her motherly way, the simple-looking Hamsatu Allamin is fearless and unapologetic. “I talk with Boko Haram even today, and they are open to [a] peace deal,” says Allamin, 60, sitting cross-legged on the floor of a yellowed bungalow, her veil circling her face and spilling down to the gray-green rug.
This educator-turned-mediator looks anything but imposing. But she cracks hard ground digging for peace in a nine-year civil war that has killed 20,000 people. So how can a woman speak to a sect that keeps women silent and slaughters them for not wearing veils?
In this war-ravaged part of the country, the answers are retold with a personal bent and remixed city to city. “If that woman is not a member of Boko Haram, they would have finished her,” a friend in the northern city of Maiduguri, Ahmed Abubakar, tells me. “But if she is not one of them, then she must be a powerful witch using a mysterious power to make them impotent.”
On a recent overcast morning, Allamin, who left public service in 2016 after more than 30 years as an educator, reveals how she might have charmed Boko Haram. Not with witchcraft, but with infectious smiles and a love for listening — all squeezed into a carefree courage that can be disarming even for the deadliest sect in the world.

After all, Allamin is a daughter of their soil, from an elite Kanuri family, the same tribe from which Boko Haram emerged. She knows the insurgents and their parents, who were her schoolmates, and she’s proven herself to the insurgents as a good and useful mediator. Working with her husband, a local chief in Konduga, she has resolved complex local disputes, including intervening to prevent the traditional practice of girls marrying under age 18.
Before the war escalated in 2013, Boko Haram insurgents lived in the communities — turning homes into hiding places after launching attacks on military units. “If you report them, you and your family would be the next target,” says Allamin. But the destructive cycle around her forced her to act. After hit-and-run attacks in Maiduguri, the military would invade the communities, searching for perpetrators and arresting every youth in sight, including the innocent. Houses often were razed.

According to United Nations data, some 7.7 million people — half of whom are children — in northeastern Nigeria need humanitarian assistance. Women wait in line with their children during a community outreach drive sponsored by the International Rescue Committee in Maiduguri, Nigeria, on Oct. 12, 2016.

So Allamin started reporting perpetrators to the military, talking to the insurgents about peace and sometimes confronting the insurgents who “brandish their cutlasses” in threat. “Gradually, even Boko Haram understood I was harmless, and they started opening up to me,” she says. As Nigeria-based analyst Justice Nwafor points out: “It is always important to spare a peacemaker in every violence.”
It’s not as if Allamin is taking the insurgents’ side. She helped organize the global “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign — garnering attention from then–first lady Michelle Obama — after Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in 2014. And she’s led the fight to empower women who have escaped their reign of terror. Allamin now tends to more than 30 former so-called wives of Boko Haram from displaced persons camps. She creates a small social network for them, with plans to send the younger ones to school and train the older ones in a trade — though some are pregnant with the offspring of the insurgents.

Still, Nwafor says Boko Haram appears to value Allamin’s skills more than the government. Allamin organized a peace meeting between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram in 2015. The deal failed because of the government’s “lack of interest in peace,” she claims. The government, as is the case on many Boko Haram–related topics, doesn’t comment on Allamin’s efforts.
Peace talks have sputtered on in the years since, and the horrors continue. “Life under Boko Haram is bitter, and women were not allowed to talk or come out of their homes,” says Fatima Umaru, a refugee whose community, Bama, was under Boko Haram rule for eight months before the military recaptured the town in 2015. But military rule comes with its own set of problems. Amnesty International reports that military officers and members of the Civilian Joint Task Force in the northeast have raped and sexually exploited women and girls, often in exchange for food and other necessities.
Families across the region have been shattered by indefinite military detentions. Allamin brought together 1,600 women and girls in what she called the Knifar Movement to increase pressure on officials to release their husbands and fathers, while also pursuing justice against soldiers and others accused of rape.
She’s also staying active in her field of education. Boko Haram roughly translates to “Secular education is a sin.” Allamin wants to brand her initiative “Boko Halal,” or “Education is good.” With donations from philanthropists and international organizations, she’s schooling close to 100 former child soldiers — frequently used in Boko Haram suicide attacks — who escaped or were rescued by the military, teaching them vocational skills.
Short of brokering an unlikely peace, her diplomacy and good works can only make a small dent. According to United Nations data, some 7.7 million people — half of whom are children — in northeastern Nigeria need humanitarian assistance.
While Allamin, a grandmother of 16, has been lavished with international awards for peace, she has no plans to capitalize on her fame with a book. Instead, she keeps her reflections for posterity in The Maiduguri Diary, a grim recounting of the conflict that would fit in the horror section (as well as history) of any library. Many plagues are inscribed in the pages, from rape to starvation, all prefaced by resignation.
Her most tangible legacy could come in her Maiduguri community, where 74 families already have named their kids after her in appreciation. “We want to make her immortal,” says Mallam Musa Mohammed, who has worked for Allamin for several years. “She is an icon of peace.”

 


Orji Sunday, OZY Author

Contact Orji Sunday

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President Buhari Returns From London Vacation

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President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the country from his 10-day vacation in London.
The presidential aircraft touched down on Saturday evening at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Ahead of his arrival, a Guard of Honor was mounted at the airport to receive the President who departed Nigeria for the United Kingdom on August 3.
Prior to his trip, President Buhari had handed over power to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in acting capacity while he was away.
More to follow…

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‘Simply reality’: Public hits back at banning of ‘This is Nigeria’ music video

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‘This is Nigeria,’ a rap music video portraying the country’s problems, has been banned following accusations that it contains a “vulgar” line. The public has hit back, saying the video merely states the truth.
Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined a Nigerian radio station for airing rapper Falz’s adaptation of Children Gambino’s ‘This is America.’ The video has already racked up 13 million views on YouTube.
It gives a depressing portrayal of what life is like amid corruption and violence in the west African country. NBC banned the song from being aired, claiming the line “This is Nigeria, everybody be criminal” is too “vulgar” to be publicly broadcast.

The cover of Gambino’s hit piece went viral as it was picked up by hip-hop mogul Diddy.

Despite its popularity, NBC doubled down on its ban, saying the song is “unfit” to circulate.
It also received criticism from Nigeria’s Muslim Rights Concern, who in June threatened to sue Falz if he failed to issue an apology and redact the song.
The group said it “demonized Nigerian Muslims,” and raised concern about female dancers wearing hijabs, as well as a man from the Fulani tribe purportedly attacking another man with a machete.
The organization said Falz’s work was “thoughtless, insensitive and highly provocative,” and had “the potential of causing religious crisis of unprecedented dimension.”
Falz, whose real name is Folarin Falana, responded to the ban saying: “I’m not happy that the NBC is preventing the people from listening to such strong messages that need to be heard,” CNN reports.
“There is a lot going on that needs to be talked about, even though a lot of people may not want to hear the truth.”
The ban stirred outcry on social media, with people saying it does nothing more than portray the reality of the third-world country.

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Nigeria’s State Owned Oil Company To Go Public

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will float 40 percent of its stock on the local stock exchange once the President signs the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Nigerian media report. The PIGB is at the heart of an energy sector overhaul aimed at making the corruption-ridden state company profitable. To do this, NNPC group managing director Maikanti Baru said, the company needs to be more commercially driven. For this, it needs cash, which will be raised through the listing.
As part of the overhaul, the NNPC will be split into two: the Nigerian Petroleum Company, which will be an integrated oil company taking all assets of the NNPC with the exception of the production-sharing contracts, and the Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company.
NNPC’s existing stock will initially be split between the two state vehicles—Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated and Ministry of Finance Incorporated—with 40 percent going to each and another 20 percent held by the Bureau of Public Enterprises. In five to ten years, 10 percent of the initial stock plus a new batch of shares equal to 30 percent of this will be floated on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil exporter, has struggled to make its oil industry work in the last few years after the oil price plunge exposed the problems at the NNPC ranging from graft to mismanagement. Militant activity in the Niger Delta, pipeline vandalism, and the subsequent production outages did not help the company get back on its feet. The federal government, however, has thrown its weight behind the reform drive that should make the oil industry more efficient and more profitable.
Nigeria produced 1.67 million barrels of oil daily in July, below the 1.8-million-bpd quota it had agreed with OPEC after it joined the production cut effort that was reversed this June. The West African nation should only benefit from the reversal as it can now expand its production as fast as it wants, which should boost oil revenues that the industry overhaul will require.

 


Irina Slav
Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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INEC gives notice of 2019 elections

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By Emmanuel Oloniruha

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday released the notice of activities for the 2019 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the notice was pasted at the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) office of INEC in Abuja.
Mrs Ndidi Okafor, Head of Voter Education and Publicity Gender and Civil Society Liaison of INEC , FCT told NAN that the notice was in accordance with section 30 of the Electoral Act 2010.
According to the notice, collection of nomination forms for national and state elections by political parties is fixed between Aug 17 and Aug. 24.
Collection of forms for FCT elections will take place between 3 Sept. and 10 Sept.
“The last date for submission of nomination forms by political parties has also been scheduled for Dec. 3 for presidential and National Assembly Elections and state elections Dec. 17.
“The collection of nomination forms for FCT Area Council elections would commence on Nov. 3 to Nov. 10, while the last date for the return of the nomination forms is Dec. 14.
“On Oct 25 INEC will publish the personal particulars of National election candidates on Oct. 25 and those of the state candidates on Nov. 9.”
Okafor said INEC has announced Nov. 17 as the last date for the withdrawal or replacement of candidates for president and National Assembly elections, and Dec. 1 for governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
INEC would on Jan. 2, 2019 publish notice of the polls, and on Jan. 7, 2019 publish official register of voters for the election, which will begin with the presidential and National Assembly elections on 16 February.

 

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Nigeria is home to 500+ kinds of graft. Here’s a new way to think about them.

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Corruption in Nigeria is complicated, far-reaching, and multi-faceted. A new taxonomy can help us make sense of it.

Corruption in Nigeria is complicated, far-reaching, and multi-faceted. A new taxonomy can help us make sense of it.

Corruption in Nigeria runs the gamut from the jaw-dropping, to the creative, to the mundane. It encompasses the oil minister who diverted billions of petrodollars in just a few years. It includes the local official who claimed a snake slithered into her office and gobbled up $100,000 in cash. And it involves the cop shaking down motorists for 25 cents apiece at makeshift checkpoints.
When former British Prime Minster David Cameron described Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt” in 2016, Nigerians may have been rankled that the offhand comment failed to recognise the UK’s own key role in allowing multi-trillion-dollar global corruption networks to flourish, but few thought his assessment was wrong.
It is widely accepted that Nigeria suffers profoundly from corruption. However, the practice is much more complicated and far-reaching than the familiar headlines suggest.
Economically, corruption stymies Nigeria’s boundless potential, hamstringing the petroleum, trade, power and banking sectors and more. In the defence sector, it compounds security challenges in hotspots like the Lake Chad Basin, Middle Belt and Niger Delta. In the police, judiciary and anti-corruption agencies, it undermines the country’s already-anaemic accountability mechanisms, thereby fuelling further corruption across the spectrum.
It also rears its head in politics through electoral manipulation and the kleptocratic capture of party structures. “Brown envelope journalism” undermines democratic norms and the media’s ability to hold leaders accountable. Meanwhile, it is Nigeria’s most vulnerable that are worst affected when graft, fraud and extortion permeate the educational, health and humanitarian sectors.
Corruption in Nigeria, and elsewhere, is highly complex. It can take a variety of different but inter-related forms. Its effects can span across several disparate sectors. Yet most existing frameworks for studying corruption share a common shortcoming: they conflate how corruption occurs (i.e. tactics and behaviours) with where it occurs (i.e. which sector). This can muddle our understanding of an already complicated issue and prevent policymakers, practitioners and analysts from thinking about Nigeria’s greatest challenge in more sophisticated and nuanced ways.

Making better sense of corruption
In a paper recently published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, I propose a new framework – or taxonomy – for looking at corruption in Nigeria. Like the Periodic Table of Elements or the system used to classify animals and plants, this taxonomy aims to help make complicated and expansive topics more digestible.
The framework works by detailing twenty sectors that are especially vulnerable to corruption (such as media, infrastructure, and police). It also identifies eight categories of corrupt behaviour that cut across these sectors (such as bribery, subsidy abuse, and favouritism). These eight categories are further divided into 28 tactics, meaning that overall, the framework covers over 500 distinct kinds of corruption.
Among the forms of corrupt behaviour, the taxonomy includes “legalised corruption” and “deliberate waste”. These categories are not generally recognised as forms of corruption, but they make sense to include in the Nigerian context. These tactics include legislators’ exorbitant salaries (roughly $540,000 annually), vanity projects (such as one governor’s decision to erect multi-million-dollar bronze statues of South Africa and Liberia’s former presidents), and Nigeria’s three (yes, three!) expensive and unnecessary space agencies.
Using the framework to visualise different forms of graft is fairly straightforward. Take the dubious practice of the president or ministers waiving import duties for select companies. These tax breaks are typically granted to firms controlled by ruling party financiers and can be extremely costly. Between 2011 and 2015, Nigeria lost $2.8 billion in revenues to such import waivers.
Looked at through the lens of this taxonomy, we can see that this relatively intricate form of corruption is trade-related and takes the form of subsidy abuse as well as tactics such as favouritism and bribery. Unlike some simpler systems, this framework is flexible enough to recognise that corruption is not always clear-cut and limited in focus, but interconnected, involving a range of behaviours that cut across sectors.

How this new taxonomy can help
As an analytical tool, this new taxonomy is useful to researchers looking to compare the situation in Nigeria with conditions in other countries. Though Nigeria-specific, it is adaptable and could be applied to other countries too. Doing so could help answer a question much-debated among Nigerians: is corruption in their country somehow unique?
This framework could also help policymakers, diplomats, development professionals and private investors to more effectively navigate Nigeria’s complex and interconnected corruption landscape. Tailored to Nigerian realities, it supports the World Bank’s push to “do development differently” by forging more context-specific approaches to addressing development challenges.
It also offers international partners and Nigerian civil society groups engaged in anti-corruption work a better basis for conducting programmatic assessments and analysing the prevalence, impact, and multiplier effects of different forms of the practice.
Developing more sophisticated policies could yield advances against a problem that drains billions of dollars a year from Africa’s largest economy, weakens the social contract between government and the people, and impoverishes Nigeria’s resilient but long-suffering people. But it must begin from a nuanced and accurate understanding of the problem.

 


Matthew T. Page is a consultant and co-author of ‘Nigeria: What Everyone Needs to Know’ (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is a nonresident scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an associate fellow with the Africa Programme at Chatham House, and nonresident fellow with the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja. 

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In Photos/Videos : Happening Now – Presentation of Certificates of Registration to the newly registered 23 Political Parties by the Hon. Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

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The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday presented Certificates of Registration to 23 new political parties in Abuja.
Photos and videos from the ceremony were shared on the Twitter handle of the electoral body, @inecnigeria.

The Commission has decided to extend the CVR to 31st August 2018. The exercise will continue in all the designated registration centres every day, including weekends, but excluding public holidays, between 9am and 5pm.

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Odenjiji Ndi Igbo

Minister Mary of Carnaby London delivering a bag to Biola Okoya, daughter of Razaq Okoya – the renowned Nigerian industrialist, owner of Eleganza Group of Companies and Aare of Lagos

Minister Mary of Carnaby London delivering a bag to Biola Okoya, daughter of Razaq Okoya - the renowned Nigerian industrialist, owner of Eleganza Group of Companies and Aare of Lagos

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Second day of Dr Akorede and Dr. Florence Dada Wedding:With foremost Nigerian fashion designer, Atty Ebele Emeka. Congratulations

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PhotoNews : Chief Nnia Nwodo, The president of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Worldwide took a time off his visit to UK to meet the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Uk and Consultative Council .

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HELP NNAEMEKA ANYAMELE GO TO CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY THIS 2018!

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World Humanitarian Day: Osodieme Calls for Selfless Living

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I am back: Buhari writes Saraki, Dogara

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Osodieme Commends Nnewi North and South Support for Obiano

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Meet the Teacher Who Dares to Speak With Boko Haram

Home3 days ago

President Buhari Returns From London Vacation

Foreign3 days ago

Kofi Annan dead: Former UN Secretary General dies aged 80 after battling short illness

Home4 days ago

‘Simply reality’: Public hits back at banning of ‘This is Nigeria’ music video

Home4 days ago

Nigeria’s State Owned Oil Company To Go Public

Life & Style4 days ago

Nigerians flock to celebrate Yoruba goddess

Politics4 days ago

PDP’s Secondus appoints ex-minister Chidoka SA on strategy

Home4 days ago

INEC gives notice of 2019 elections

Parliament4 days ago

APC Asks Saraki To Reconvene National Assembly Now

Education4 days ago

NYU School Of Medicine grants free tuition to its students

Home4 days ago

Nigeria is home to 500+ kinds of graft. Here’s a new way to think about them.

Health5 days ago

70-year-old Nigerian fit with a pacemaker in Dubai

Home5 days ago

In Photos/Videos : Happening Now – Presentation of Certificates of Registration to the newly registered 23 Political Parties by the Hon. Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Education5 days ago

Stormzy launches Cambridge scholarship for black students

Photos/Videos4 weeks ago

In Pictures : His Majesty, Eze Eri 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo and the President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Visit Virginia, USA to attend the World Igbo Festival of Art and Culture.

Life & Style4 weeks ago

‘Most beautiful girl in the world’: Five-year-old Nigerian sends social media into frenzy

Home2 weeks ago

News Pictures Of The Day : Chief (Mrs) Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu celebrates as daughter ,Chineme graduates from University of Brighton

Home4 weeks ago

PHOTONEWS: Senators visit Ekweremadu at home

Home4 weeks ago

Video:Nigerian football coach Salisu Yusuf filmed taking cash

Home3 weeks ago

Igbo Elders Reject Buhari’s Offer of 2023 Presidency, Insist on Restructuring

Home4 weeks ago

Breaking : Saraki Sneaks Self Into National Assembly , Presides over The Tuesday , July 24th Plenary

Home4 weeks ago

Dogara Assures South and Middle Belt Forum, comprising Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), and Middle Belt Forum Leaders On Restructuring.

Home4 weeks ago

Video : More Trouble as Dogara Storm House of Reps Amidst Hailing From PDP Reps Members

Life & Style5 days ago

Picture of Rihanna and Donald Glover drives fans wild

Home4 days ago

‘Simply reality’: Public hits back at banning of ‘This is Nigeria’ music video

Home4 weeks ago

Senate angrily urges security operatives to vacate Ekweremadu’s residence immediately.

Home4 weeks ago

UPDATE: Melaye, Kwankwaso, 13 Other Senators Defect To PDP

Home4 weeks ago

Oshiomhole Threatens Ngige With Expulsion

Home4 weeks ago

GOVERNOR OBIANO PRESENTS CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION TO NEWLY ELECTED TRADITIONAL RULERS

Home3 weeks ago

Saraki, Dogara slam Ortom’s impeachment by 8 legislators

Home6 days ago

Cardinal Francis Arinze as a brand of Anambra – By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Home3 weeks ago

Press Statement By The President Of The Senate, His Excellency, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON, On July 31, 2018

Home1 week ago

Obiano’s media aide found dead

Home4 weeks ago

President Muhammadu Buhari withholds Assent to Five Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration) Amendment Bills

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