Tuesday, October 18, 2005

British and Nigerian corruption

"Nigeria is this week due to enter final talks to win $18bn of debt relief in the biggest ever write-off by the Paris Club of western creditors.

...Amid the mutual congratulation, it is worth taking a moment to compare the impressive-sounding numbers with another figure that originates in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. It is the estimated $3.5m or more worth of crude oil that is stolen each day from the Niger Delta by conspiracies of government officials, militias, the military and expatriates. On an annual basis, the value of that theft would exceed the debt repayment saving.

...Britain has not tried to hide its double standards. The Commission for Africa set up and chaired by Mr Blair to devise an agenda for the G8 summit highlighted the failure of rich country export credit agencies to tackle corruption. Yet Britain’s Export Credits Guarantee Department has shown little inclination to follow up allegations that a consortium including MW Kellogg, a client, agreed to pay $170m of bribes to secure billions of dollars of work on a giant Nigerian gas plant".

Michael Peel - UK and Nigeria’s half-hearted war on corruption, FT 17 Oct

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