Friday, April 13, 2007

What an opportunity we seem to have missed!

Daniel Smith in “Politicians cannot control Nigeria’s corruption crusade”, FT April 12, writes about Nigeria saying “its politics remains a stark scramble for power in which elites compete for domination of the state apparatus to reap the benefits of control over enormous oil revenues”, and so in fact little does the crusade againts corruption matter anyhow, especially while oil prices remain high. As is, the Nigerians now elect a government to whom hand over the oil revenues that in reality belongs to themselves, only to have to spend the next couple of years licking boots in order to get some of that same oil money back, while the elected government officials, arrogantly, not in need of other tax income, couldn’t care less about them.

It is only when you get to understand this that you really get a feeling for what a wonderful opportunity the world seems to have lost in Iraq. Can you imagine what having helped to channel the oil revenues directly to the Iraqi citizens in a transparent way could have done? That could really have been called democracy building, and the setting of a great example for the citizens of Nigeria, Venezuela and all the other oil cursed nations to follow.