Nigeria is a prime example

of the natural resource curse. Corrupt government officials in oil rich Nigeria are siphoning off the many billions of dollars the country has received in oil income. Example in a recent Human Rights Watch report: “One local government chairman habitually deposited his government’s money into his own private bank account. Another has siphoned off money by allocating it towards a ‘football academy’ that has not built.” 

There’s more:

The report documents how revenues flowing into local government treasuries in recent years have been grossly misallocated or stolen outright. Many local governments have lavished funds on new government offices and other massive construction projects that dwarf spending on health care and education. One local government dedicated only 2.4 percent of its revenues to maintaining its crumbling primary school infrastructure while spending 30 percent of its budget on salaries and expenses for the offices of its chairman and legislative councilors. Some local government chairmen have set aside more money for their own travel and “miscellaneous expenses” than they allocate to the schools and health clinics they are charged with running.  
As one embittered resident put it, “All they do is build their headquarters, massive things, air-condition them, and buy vehicles to drive around in.”  
Significant revenues are also lost to apparent theft. One local government chairman spent huge sums on a series of non-existent projects, including a “demonstration fish pond” with neither water nor fish and a “football academy” that has never been built. Another set aside funds in the local government budget to pay more than 100 “functional committees/protocol officers” whose responsibilities, if any, were entirely unclear; their total salaries exceeded those of all the local government’s health sector employees. One local government’s chairman was shown by a judicial inquiry to have illegally awarded lucrative contracts for maintenance and other work to himself, in some cases for services he then failed to deliver.  


Nigeria’s problems don’t end there, and include the rise of radical Islam, ethnic conflict, and attacks against the oil industry.

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