Chinua Achebe - Africa with Ade Adepitan TV - Woodrow Wyatt - Adam Curtis TV - David Miliband - Misha Glenny - Gary K Busch - Christopher Hitchens - Dispatches TV - Louis Theroux TV - Gus Casely-Hayford TV - Document: Radio 4 - Sweet Sweet Codeine 2018 - Stacey Dooley TV - Reggie Yates TV - Our World TV - Africa Rising with Afua Hirsch TV -
Nigerians are corrupt because the system under which they live makes corruption easy and profitable ... The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. I am saying that Nigeria can change today if she discovers leaders who have the will, the ability, and the vision. Chinua Achebe, writer, 1983
Nigeria has the biggest economy in Africa with massive oil reserves. People here should be rich but they’re not … There’s terrible corruption, bad management and widespread crime. Africa with Ade Adepitan I, BBC 2019
Nigeria’s massive Christian churches have stepped in to provide order and safety in people’s lives where the government has failed. ibid.
If we don’t supply arms to the Nigerian government, the Russians are going to go on doing it. Woodrow Wyatt, right-wing journalist
By the late ’60s many of Britain’s former colonies were being torn apart by civil war. In Nigeria the federal government were fighting a vicious campaign to stop Biafra from seceding. The British government were secretly supplying the federal side with weapons. Their aim was to protect Britain’s oil interests in Nigeria. Adam Curtis, The Mayfair Set I: Who Pays Wins ***** Channel 4 1999
The Federal Government won helped by the British arms. But the resulting scandal clearly showed the limits of Britain openly using arms sales as a tool of foreign policy. ibid.
The biggest opportunity in 2013 is in Africa. It has seven out of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world. In Nigeria alone there are 100 million people with mobile phones. In total, 300 million Africans – five times the population of Britain – are in the middle class. David Miliband
Jaime Queiroz had reached the end of his tether. For several days, Nelson Sakaguchi, a fellow director at the Banco Noroeste, a leading Brazilian private bank, had been stalling on an urgent request. The board had ordered Sakaguchi to hand over to Lopez all the documents relating to the previous three years business of its overseas operations in the Cayman Islands ... In the fax, Mr Williams explained that a Nigerian customer of Banco Noroeste had suggested the bank might be interested in an investment opportunity with the Ministry of Aviation ... The Nigerians were seeking about $50 million for the airport and Banco Noroeste’s capital only totalled $500. Before long, he had authorised the first transfer of $4 million and there was more to come ... The biggest single Advance Fee Fraud (or 419 scam, as it is also known) in history. Misha Glenny, McMafia
There are important reasons why Nigeria has become the Broadway of Crime – it is home to the most successful culture of financial fraud in history. ibid.
The legacy of colonisation has been decisive in the fashioning of modern Nigeria. ibid.
Nigeria’s passage into the global market, floating atop the world’s sixth largest oil reserves, has created one of history’s most divided societies in terms of income distribution. ibid.
The Nigerian elite has become rich even beyond many Westerners’ imagination. Since the 1970s, they have been sucking the profits from the country's oil resources almost directly from the wells and into their pockets. ibid.
With the petrodollar rush came huge contracts for public works, which were handed out to Western companies that were colluding in the bribery process. ibid.
A series of military coups allowed the consolidation of corruption as an ideology. ibid.
It was during the rule of the IBB that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) noticed how Nigeria was becoming the major trans-shipment centre for cocaine destined for Europe, and for heroin en route to the United States. ibid.
The unwillingness of its small band of hyper-rich to distribute its billions in any equitable manner has very serious implications and unpleasant consequences. ibid.
In the mid-1980s, the giant investment house, Merrill Lynch, contracted two different firms to clean and guard their headquarters in New York’s financial district .... They held credit cards with which they could enter any financial institution and withdraw $52,000 on any one occasion, no questions asked. The Nigerian cleaners and night watchmen busied themselves for several months photocopying all these details on the company Xerox, before transferring the information on to blank credit cards in preparation for one mighty spending spree. ibid.
One night the Nigerians let down their guard and left one of the photocopied pages by the machine. ibid.
Civil war devastated the east until 1970, when Biafra – broken, battered and famished – surrendered. ibid.
By 1990 Nigerian nationals (the majority of them Igbo) made up 30 per cent of all people imprisoned by British ports of entry for heroin smuggling, according to the Howard League for Penal Reform. ibid.
By the end of Babangida’s rule, the country had racked up almost $30 billion of debt. Large-scale criminal fraud had been a persistent problem since independence, but with rising unemployment, rampant inflation and a collapse in the value of Nigeria’s currency, the naira, defrauding indigenous Nigerians was becoming ever less profitable. ibid.
The scammers put an immense amount of work into their ploys, and again it is hard not to admire their commitment to theatricality and detail. ibid.
Nigeria’s very own Eliot Ness appeared on the scene ... What few expected when the EFCC started work properly a few months later was that its director, Nuhu Ribadu, would develop such an unbending devotion to rooting out corruption and crime wherever it might be found. ibid.
The Nigerians were branded as criminals in South Africa where crime had, in a few short months, become the decisive political, social and economic issue. ibid.
South Africans came to perceive Nigerians as the worst criminals because they were highly visible, working tirelessly to expand the consumption of drugs and the use of prostitutes across all communities in South Africa, and offering further evidence of their unparalleled ability in devising financial scams and fraud. ibid.
By 1994, Nigeria had developed into a new and very significant hub for the distribution of cocaine from West to East, and of heroin in the opposite direction. ibid.
Every day the Nigerian economy loses between 150,000 and 320,000 barrels of oil. Gary K Busch
In northern Nigeria – a country that had previously checked in as provisionally polio-free – a group of Islamic figures issued a ruling – or fatwa – that declared the polio vaccine to be a conspiracy by the United States. Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great p45
The kidnap of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by hardline Islamists shocked the world and focused new attention on the terrorist group Boko Haram. Dispatches: Nigeria’s Secret War: The Hunt for Boko Haram, Channel 4 2014
Innocent civilians are being tortured, imprisoned, even murdered by the Nigerian army and their civilian militia. ibid.
Nigeria is now Africa’s biggest economy … people are among the poorest. ibid.
Many of the stories of Africa are told here – the British museum in London. This is where thousands of artefacts collected, bought and taken from the continent ended up. When they were first discovered objects from the ancient kingdoms of West Africa stunned the world … They’re 16th century casts in cooper-rich alloys of brass and bronze. Gus Casely-Hayford, Lost Kingdoms of Africa s1e4, West Africa, BBC 2010
Benin’s history: for 600 years until the late nineteenth century it dominated this part of west Africa. ibid.
It’s always been thought that violence and corruption during elections in Nigeria are home-grown problems. Ones that Britain tried hard to prevent. Bequeathing a system of fair and honest democracy before granting the country independence in 1960. But according to our document, the unpublished memoirs of a former British colonial officer, London’s parting gift was in reality a lesson in how to rig the polls and deceive the people. Document: The Gift of Democracy, BBC Radio 4 2007