A lesson in corruption

Over the weekend I read the most interesting and enlightening article on corruption in Nigeria. You should read it too. Link here. Its a story about the drama surrounding the sale of an oil block in Nigeria. Sale might not be the right word though. As the article summarizes;

DEALS for oilfields can be as opaque as the stuff that is pumped from them. But when partners fall out and go to court, light is sometimes shed on the bargaining process—and what it exposes is not always pretty.

Really, you should read it. I will wait.

Read it yet?

Two things stand out for me. First the source of the corruption is the murky process of awarding oil blocks. No transparency. No competitive bidding. No supervision. Nothing. The original award of OPL245 was done in 1998 but the process for awarding oil blocks is the same today. If you can call it a process. We still read headlines like “FG secretly indulges in discretionary oil block awards” and “Jonathan Awards Oil Blocks Secretly to Unknown Parties”. Corruption eh?

The second thing that stands out; its not surprising that the EFCC investigations stop once the paper trail leads back to the government nowhere. At some point they get “discouraged” by higher-ups. Makes me wonder how much further the EFCC could go if they were truly independent. If they couldn’t get fired or had their budgets cut by the very government officials they have to investigate.



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