The money trail

Thoroughly tragic but predictable news from Africa:

More than $380bn has either been stolen or wasted by Nigerian governments since independence in 1960, the chief corruption fighter has said.

Nuhu Ribadu told the BBC that Nigeria has “nothing much” to show for the missing money.

He said the worst period for corruption was the 1980s and ’90s, but currently two-thirds of governors are being investigated by Mr Ribadu’s agency.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil exporter but most people are poor.

The country is regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt by graft watchdog Transparency International.… 

Such news should be greeted with outrage by Nigerians. Or so one would think. Blogger Akin reflects:

Strangely, none of the Nigerian blogs I visit daily seemed to have picked up on this issue that Nigerian leaders have ”˜stolen’ $380 billion cumulatively since independence with the worst atrocities in the 80s and 90s.

This leaves me a bit uncomfortable because it would imply that this is no news or people are so inured to that fact that they cannot be bothered to express any outrage.

Whilst the word stolen is qualified as either wastage or outright kleptomania, I would plumb for the least desirable definition of the word.

Basically, good leadership and stewardship of Nigeria’s resources and means should have ensured that any moneys spent were properly accounted for and whoever dipped into the treasury should have been able to declare in clear terms what for, why and what is to be achieved.… 

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