This chapter analyses political corruption in Nigeria through the trajectory of a number of scandals and their background. It underscores the resilience of political corruption in the country, where the problem is inflated by the size of the economy (second-biggest economy in Africa), population size (roughly 200 million), and an open economy with vast revenues from oil and gas (Africa’s largest oil exporter). Despite some positive trends, like the relatively free media, a vibrant civil society, reasonably free elections, and so on, the justice system is twisted and gives the perpetrators impunity. Political corruption is a ‘quasi-legitimised’ tool to advance party, personal and political gains, and frequently all at the same time.
In Nigeria, political corruption has not only grown in leaps and bounds – it has become systemic, diversified and variegated, and its power-preservation methods rank among the crudest and cruellest. The occupiers of political power deploy all available weapons in their political armoury – fair, foul, constitutional, extra-constitutional, judicial or extra-judicial – to perpetuate themselves and their political parties in power and thus continue to preside over the system of rents and rewards.
The need for inclusion of ever-wider social groups in a system of ‘competitive clientelism’ makes Nigeria’s ‘informal redistribution’ a likely feature of the political settlement also in the future, meaning that rent capture will continue and that rent recipients ‘will be difficult to discipline’.
Political Corruption in Africa. Extraction and Power Preservation
Amundsen, Inge (ed.)
Also in this volume:
- Stuck in Transition: Political Corruption as Power Abuse
- Extractive and Power-Preserving Political Corruption
- The ‘Secret Loans Affair’ and Political Corruption in Mozambique
Nuvunga, Adriano and Aslak Orre
Urbanisation, informality, and corruption. Designing policies for integrity in the city
Reciprocity networks, service delivery, and corruption: The wantok system in Papua New Guinea
Grant Walton, David Jackson
Networks of anti-corruption authorities. Living up to their aspirations?
Sofie Arjon Schütte
Procedural fairness for curbing corruption. Taking bureaucratic decision-making out of the shadows
Migai Akech, Monica Kirya
Paper tiger law forbidding FGM in Sudan
Liv Tønnessen, Samia El-Nagar, Sharifa Bamkar
Understanding effects of corruption on law enforcement and environmental crime
David Aled Williams
Building accountable resource governance institutions
David Aled Williams