Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, March 31, 2014

Weak state; powerful corruption

Several years ago, the USA prohibited direct flights from Nigeria to the USA because drug smuggling was so prevalent. If this report by Chinedu Eze published in ThisDay is accurate, the smuggling problem has only gotten worse.

It demonstrates the weakness of the state and the extensive intrusion of corruption into the functioning of the government.

Growing Drug Trafficking At the Airports
Since the past 20 years Nigeria has been known as a corridor for illicit drug movement…

Airport security experts have at various fora disclosed that there is a drug cartel at the airports in the country, especially the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, that most members of the cartel are agency officials, especially those of Aviation Security of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

Few years ago a commandant of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), M.K. Jibrin… identified those involved in touting and drug trafficking to include uniformed officers that work for the aforementioned organisations and others who have easy access to the airports…

This is the way most drug couriers escape screening at the airports…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

What You Need to Know is a thorough review of comparative government and politics as described in the AP curriculum.


Just The Facts! is a catalog of concepts, terminology, and examples that can help you review for May's exam.


What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 is now available from the publisher


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Listen up!

If democratic centralism is to work, the people at the top of the system have to listen to what the masses are saying. The Communist Party of China has issued a reminder about the importance of listening.

The official Party statements as translated by the propaganda (i.e. public relations) department have always seemed, to me, to have a naive tone and stilted syntax. This press release continues that tradition.

CPC demands officials hear public views
A Communist Party of China (CPC) department has required CPC members and officials to listen to the public in a direct face-to-face manner.

Hearing of public opinions should be combined with study and education as well as solving practical problems in carrying out the second phase of China's "mass line" campaign, said a circular issued by the leading group of the campaign and published on Wednesday.

CPC officials should communicate with members of the public in good faith and with sincerity and encourage them to express their real feelings and thoughts, the circular said.

Party leaders and members at city and county-level CPC and government agencies should reach local communities and villages and conduct long-term investigations, random visits and individual talks with members of the public in order to hear their opinions, it said.

The document demanded no delay in addressing problems spotted in the campaign, such as leading officials' pursuit of "vanity" projects and snobbish attitudes, the Party and government agencies' idle and irresponsible work style, as well as power abuse and unfair enforcement practices by officials with law enforcement and public service organs.

CPC committees and organizations at all levels should take political responsibility to ensure the campaign is carried out in a proper manner and leading officials should invest enough time and energy to advance the campaign, the circular said.

It also called on CPC members and officials to study President Xi Jinping's recent remarks on the mass-line campaign and learn from the late model official Jiao Yulu.

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

Just The Facts! might be just the thing to help you review for May's exam.


What You Need to Know is a thorough review of comparative government and politics as described in the AP curriculum.


What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, the original version and v2.0 are available and would be helpful in planning review sessions


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

And the latest word on residential permit reform from Beijing…

Urbanization has been going on at a dramatic pace in China for the last three decades. But public policy is still mired in the 1980s. The topic sort of arose during the recent NPC meeting, but not soon enough for any public notice. Plans are underway. Whose plans? Whose goals? Whose process? (Never mind. Just follow directions.)

If you check out the "See also" notes at the bottom, the process of policy making seems to be the same as it was in the past: slow.

Moving on up
AFTER months of bickering among officials, on March 16th the government revealed a long-awaited plan for managing what has been the world’s largest migration of rural residents into cities… It called for a “new style” of urbanisation, focused on making cities fairer for migrants. This will require considerable government spending, and will meet tough resistance.

It is remarkable that a government so fond of planning has taken this long to produce a plan for urbanisation; in the past 35 years the population of urban China has grown by more than 500m people…

The new document reflects a shift in city-building strategy that has become evident since new leaders took over in China in 2012; it recognises that urban China risks being destabilised by the creation of a huge mass of what the Chinese media sometimes admit are “second-class citizens”. The plan calls for the “gradual elimination” of the chief cause of this: the hukou system of household registration that was introduced in the 1950s to prevent internal immigration…

By 2020, according to the plan, 100m migrants are to obtain urban hukou. This is a cautious target. The government admits it would still leave 200m people—by then roughly two-thirds of migrants—without city-resident status…

Crucially, the plan does not suggest when the hukou system might be scrapped altogether. And it still allows bigger cities, which migrants prefer, to continue using hukou barriers as a way of trying to limit population growth…

Local governments are likely to interpret this as strictly as they can. They are fearful of having to spend a lot more on public services such as health care, education and subsidised housing, which barely reach most non-urban hukou holders. The new plan gives few details of how beefing up these services will be paid for, an omission that suggests much bickering remains to be done…

The plan also gives a nod to the aspirations of China’s new middle-class, some of whom are pressing for a greater say in how their cities are run. The “level of democratisation”, it says, should be increased in the drawing up of city plans. Officials, however, chose to keep the plan secret until after the closing of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the country’s legislature. It would have been a pity to spoil it with debate, even by a rubber-stamp parliament from which migrants are all but excluded.
See also:

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, the original and v2.0 are now available to help prepare review sessions


What You Need to Know is a thorough review of comparative government and politics as described in the AP curriculum.


Just The Facts! is a catalog of concepts, terminology, and examples that can help you review for May's exam.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life in Terhan

If, like BBC reporter Lyse Doucet, you hang out in Tehran with the cosmopolitan Iranians in north Tehran, you might come away with impressions like this. How does this compare with other impressions and the self-portrait that the supreme leader promotes?

Four days in Tehran
Four days in the teeming mega-metropolis of Tehran is not enough. But it was just enough to savour what's long been special about this city…

The infamous traffic congestion seems much worse than on my last visit five years ago…

Magnificent Islamic architecture, with intricate Persian patterns and decorative brickwork still make you pause.

So does a delectable cuisine flecked with emerald dill or golden saffron…

[T]hese were seven surprises.
  1. Hotel lobbies full of visitors, many from Asian countries…
  2. The best of "Traditional English tea"… in my room in a recently renovated hotel - and leading American soft drinks in the fridge.
  3. The many shops selling well known Western fashion brands in wealthier north Tehran despite the vast web of international sanctions. Inventive Iranians have found ways around them.
  4. The bazaars are bustling, and in places, bursting full of people and goods for sale. But many people lamented the high prices…
  5. Tehran skies are dotted with construction cranes. Some Iranians, with access to hard currency and the right connections, have got even richer under sanctions…
  6. Suspicion still runs deep that negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme are a pretext to meddle in Iran…
  7. Everyone we met, whatever their political view, expressed a desire for wider engagement with the world, and a long term nuclear agreement that respected Iran and its interests…
Tehran bazaar
The best expression I heard was that Iran now wants to find "its place in the world, not against the world". Nationalism and pride are deeply-rooted here…

Iranians of all ages are engaging with the world from a cyber distance, despite bans on satellite TV and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.
What You Need to Know is a thorough review of comparative government and politics as described in the AP curriculum.


Just The Facts! is a catalog of concepts, terminology, and examples that can help you review for May's exam.


What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 is now available from the publisher


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Playing the bureaucracy card

I was reading an opinion piece in the Monkey Cage column of The Washington Post titled, How an election may undermine democracy in Turkey.

One sentence caught my eye.
According to political scientist Joel S. Migdal, “strongman” leaders operating in “weak states” sometimes have an incentive to weaken the bureaucracy to ensure that rival political actors don’t accrue the tools and power needed to overthrow them. They therefore have a perverse incentive to weaken certain elements of the bureaucracy, while favoring others.

It made me think of Nigeria, not Turkey.

To me it seems that Migdal's assertion describes what's going on in Nigeria as bureaucratic actors in the central bank, the electrical ministry, the oil ministry, and others challenge the president and the legislature to investigate billions of naira missing from government accounts. President Jonathan's response has been to fire people and replace ministers. The closely divided legislature, especially the newly organized opposition, is frozen by politics and the participation of many legislators in the corruption that's been going on for so long.

Meanwhile President Jonathan complains that public reports of corruption are tarnishing the good name of Nigeria.

Is it the reports or the corruption that is tarnishing Nigeria's reputation?

Can you find any signs of political conflict or collusion between bureaucrats and politicians in other countries?

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 is now available from the publisher


What You Need to Know is a thorough review of comparative government and politics as described in the AP curriculum.


Just The Facts! is a catalog of concepts, terminology, and examples that can help you review for May's exam.


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Is there a political solution?

Broadly speaking any solution will have to be political. But, can the politicians in Iran come up with a solution that is not revolutionary? Can the politically involved religious leaders come up with a solution that maintains their power?

In Iran, Hopes Fade for Surge in the Economy
Suffering in an economy dragged down by years of mismanagement and the effects of international sanctions, Iran’s increasingly impoverished middle class voted in huge numbers last summer for President Hassan Rouhani, who promised to reignite growth by restoring ties with the rest of the world.

But more than six months after Mr. Rouhani took office, hopes of a quick economic recovery are fading…

Although Mr. Rouhani has managed to stabilize the national currency, halt inflation and forge a temporary nuclear deal that provides some relief from sanctions, delivering on his promises of economic growth has proved far more difficult…. Now, with a lack of petrodollars and declining tax revenues, Mr. Rouhani has little option but to take steps that in the short-run will only increase the pain for the voters who put him into office.

With the start of the Iranian new year, on Friday, the government will begin phasing out subsidies on energy, the start of a process that will send the prices of gasoline and electricity, and other utilities, soaring by nearly 90 percent, economists say.

The shortage of funds is also forcing the government to wind down a system of $12 monthly payments to nearly 60 million Iranians…

Iran’s stock market, which rode high on optimism injected by the new government and the temporary nuclear deal, has been in decline, losing 14 percent since its peak in December. The national currency, the rial, after months of stability, has dropped about 4 percent against the dollar…

[T]he markets are losing faith in the government’s ability to get the economy going. “We are once again witnessing investors taking their money out of stocks and instead speculating on gold and foreign currency,” one stock market expert, Hamid Mirmouni, told the Fararu website recently. “The government continues to waste time and money, investors are losing hope.”…

Even those close to the Rouhani administration are saying they are hoping for a “miracle” to avoid the political damage from the cuts…

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, echoed such worries in a speech Tuesday to dozens of the country’s most influential leaders, politicians, clerics and military commanders. He urged the government to pay attention to the poor, calling for social justice, meaning an equal distribution of wealth…

One Tehran-based analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the economic problems openly, said that over the past decades many different governments had tried to fix the economy, but all had found it politically difficult, if not impossible.

“Many of our problems are systemic,” he said. “There is no real solution other than muddling on.”…

Khamenei says only a strong Iran can avoid ‘oppression’

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday that only a strong nation could avoid being oppressed by foreign powers, as he called for economic and cultural independence...

Hopes for an economic recovery were rekindled after President Hassan Rouhani took office in August with a promise to repair relations with the world. In November he clinched an interim nuclear deal with world powers that brought modest sanctions relief.

But Khamenei, who has the final say on the nuclear issue, said Iran should not pin its hopes on “when the enemy will lift the sanctions,” alluding to nuclear talks with world powers aimed at reaching an ambitious final accord by July 20...

Khamenei, who has backed the nuclear talks but expressed skepticism over Western intentions, called for greater economic self-reliance through boosting productivity and pursuing a buy-Iran campaign under the title “economy of resistance.”

Khamenei added that culture is “even more important than the economy.”

“It is the air you breathe. If it is clean it has one effect, and another if it is dirty,” said Khamenei, who has long warned of a so-called soft war by the West against Iran’s Islamic ideals and values.

“The focus of the enemy is on the culture more than anything else,” Khamenei said.

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

What You Need to Know is a thorough review of comparative government and politics as described in the AP curriculum.


Just The Facts! is a catalog of concepts, terminology, and examples that can help you review for May's exam.


What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 is now available from the publisher


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Friday, March 21, 2014

Toward or away from the rule of law?

A hard-line conservative Iranian judge says that two political opponents are to go on trail and that he hopes to see "the lifting of house arrest" for the two. What is going on in Iran?

Iran takes legal action against opposition leaders
A top member of Iran's judiciary said Tuesday it is taking unspecified legal action against two opposition leaders held under house arrest without charge since 2011 — a possible tentative step toward meeting their supporters' demands that they be given a fair trial to resolve their status.

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted senior judiciary official Mohammad Javad Larijani as saying he was hopeful that Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi could be freed after the conclusion of the case…

Mousavi ran against outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 election. Reformers disputed Ahmadinejad's victory and there were weeks of demonstrations followed by a crackdown.

In 2011, amid uprisings in the Arab world, the two as well as Mousavi's wife were put under house arrest. Charges were never filed.

Hard-liners blame Mousavi and Karroubi for the 2009 "sedition" and have at times demanded they be prosecuted and executed. But the opposition has also sought a trial for the two in preference to indefinite detention without charge…

In Tuesday's statement, the hard-line Larijani called the two detained men "friends." "I wish the sedition had never happened. We had cooperation with these two beloved men" before 2009, he said. Mousavi was a prime minister in 1980s and Karroubi was a parliamentary speaker in 1990s…

Larijani said the case has "judicial and security dimensions," wording that suggests a top security council headed by the president was involved in the decision…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

Planing review sessions? What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 offers over 50 ideas.


Need good explanations for review? The Fifth Edition of What You Need to Know might be what you need.


Want direct, to-the-point definitions and examples for your reviewing? Just The Facts! is what you need.


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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Terrorism wins

And what does this say about the power of the state? or the government? or its legitimacy? Does this mean that Nigeria is a failed state?

Nigerian state closes schools amid fears of Boko Haram attacks
Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state is closing all high schools amid fears of large-scale attacks by Islamic extremists – an apparent victory for the Boko Haram terrorist network, whose name means "western education is forbidden".

School officials and teachers said about 85 schools would close, affecting nearly 120,000 students in an area that has the country's worst literacy rates.

Anger is growing at the military's failure to suppress an Islamic uprising in the north-east, despite a massive deployment of troops and a 10-month-old state of emergency…

"We have run out of excuses for our failure to live up to our responsibility to protect our innocent defenceless children from gratuitous violence," the speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, told legislators at a special session last week…

The school closures could have far-reaching consequences, including ending the education of some students in a region where few ever have the opportunity to get to high school, said the chairman of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, Chidi Anselm Odinkalu.

"The average secondary school enrolment is slightly under 5% (in north-eastern Nigeria), so I think it's easy to understand that you cannot overestimate what the consequences of this could be…

The United Nations estimates that the Islamic uprising has forced 300,000 people to leave their homes in north-eastern Nigeria since 2010, most displaced within the country and some across borders in Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

Nigeria's military recently claimed successes in aerial bombardments and ground assaults on extremist hideouts in forests and mountain caves along the borders with Cameroon and Chad.

But they were unable to stop extremists who on Friday shot their way into the main military base in the north-east, Maiduguri's Giwa barracks, where they freed dozens of detained fighters before soldiers repelled the attack…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

Just The Facts! could be just the key to your preparation for the big exam.


The Fifth Edition of What You Need to Know will help you review the course and the official course outline.


What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 could help you prepare review lessons.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Public debate in Iran

In a non-transparent regime, like Iran's, when political disagreements become publicly visible, it might mean that no one has the power to impose their views. It might mean that those in power want to give the appearance of open debate. It might be a way of tempting others to reveal their positions and make them targets of future political persecution. (Remember the Hundred Flowers Campaign in China?) So what's going on in Iran? What signs in the future might help us answer that question?

In Iran, a battle over control of media and culture is heating up
A long-smoldering battle over government control of media and culture in Iran is heating up, as opposing political forces fight over where the limits should be drawn on access to information.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, and his supporters argue that press restrictions should be reduced and that the public should be trusted with greater access to the Internet and television.

Hard-line conservatives, meanwhile, believe that such freedom would undermine the country’s Islamic rule.

The debate intensified last week when Ali Jannati, the minister of culture and Islamic guidance under Rouhani, described as “ridiculous” many of the policies that Iran has adopted since the revolution of 1979 to control the flow of information, including filters on the Internet…

Since Rouhani entered office, gradual improvements in the media landscape are being felt, but there have also been setbacks.

Some prominent figures have reappeared on state television for the first time since being banned in 2009… Several reformist publications have reopened after being shut down during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani’s predecessor.

But other publications have been closed, and Rouhani has remained at odds with the state television chief, who is appointed not by the president but by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader…

Rouhani’s ideological rivals within Iran may be his biggest roadblocks to change.

Officials who oppose the relative openness publicly espoused by Rouhani argue that Iran’s Islamic society is being corrupted by values and ideas that they deem are a part of what they call the West’s long-standing “soft war” against Iran…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

Looking for help planning review sessions? What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools (both versions) could be helpful.


The Fifth Edition of What You Need to Know can be a great aid in reviewing complex course content.


Just The Facts! is just the ticket for reviewing and organizing what you know.


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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Communism with historical characteristics

No, it's not 1948 in Israel. It's not 1958 in China. It's not the 1960s in the USA. It's 21st century China. And the Communist Party-led government is not happy with this communist commune. After all, it's not accepting the official Party line of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Communism Is the Goal at a Commune, but Chinese Officials Are Not Impressed
Members of this idyllic utopian commune tucked away in the mountains of southwest China share an agrarian life that would probably have delighted Chairman Mao: Every day they volunteer six hours to work the fields, feed their jointly owned chickens and prepare enough food to fill every belly in the community. The bounty of their harvest is divided equally and apparently without strife, part of a philosophy that emphasizes selflessness and egalitarian living over money and materialism…

But Marxism doesn’t often look like that in modern-day China, and New Oasis has unnerved local officials in Yunnan, a lush semitropical province that borders Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Months of official intimidation and acts of sabotage have destroyed New Oasis’s water and electrical supply and driven many residents away, emptying two of the group’s three communes in the province.

The unfolding drama highlights the perils that Chinese people face in trying to address their country’s problems on their own terms.

New Oasis village
With its emphasis on organic farming, earthy spirituality and unconventional forms of kinship, the New Oasis communes were a beacon for people of all stripes who sought escape from the smog, graft and social conservatism of contemporary Chinese life…

But the Communist Party has never had much tolerance for independent organizations of any kind, however benign. Even as it has loosened restrictions on religious worship in recent decades, the government has moved to crush unsanctioned Christian churches, Buddhist teachers with their own followings and disciples of the Falun Gong…

Even small groups like New Oasis run afoul of the party’s deep fears of independent movements, especially when they are led by charismatic figures — a trepidation rooted in a national history of upheaval and revolution…

For the past year officials have been pressing New Oasis to disband, claiming that it violated laws on marriage, forestry and education. At the same time, they have mounted a campaign of unrelenting harassment that underscores China’s troubled relationship with the rule of law…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

What You Need to Know is a thorough review of comparative government and politics as described in the AP curriculum.


Just The Facts! is a catalog of concepts, terminology, and examples that can help you review for May's exam.


What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 is now available from the publisher


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Illiberal democracy in action

Looking for examples of an illiberal democracy in action to spice up your FRQs? Read the whole article for more details.

As Putin’s Popularity Soars, Voices of Opposition Are Being Drowned Out
There were two large rallies on Saturday in Moscow. One was a pro-government rally “in support of Crimea and against fascism,” led by a phalanx of husky men in identical crimson jackets, marching military-style in a sea of red…

The other was called a “March for Peace,” convened by the opposition to President Vladimir V. Putin. Holding paper doves aloft, they chanted “Putin Is Afraid of the Maidan” and a Ukrainian phrase that translates as “Putin, Get Out!” The police estimated that there were 3,000 people in this crowd, but it seemed many times larger, in the tens of thousands, filling a boulevard with
bodies for many blocks. The split reaction here reflects domestic tensions. Mr. Putin, who was shaken by large antigovernment demonstrations in Moscow two years ago, is using the confrontation to consolidate the public behind his rule, tapping into the deep well of emotion about the Soviet Union’s suffering at the hands of Nazi Germany. The authorities have tried to mobilize support on federal television channels, and have muted independent voices on the Internet…

Opponents of intervention in Ukraine have found themselves isolated as the crisis has mounted, and several marchers acknowledged that differences over Crimea had split their families or social circles. But the large crowd — numbers that the Kremlin could not ignore — made the mood buoyant…

While the world’s attention is trained on Ukraine, the Russian authorities are cracking down on independent news outlets here, and scores of young journalists… are facing unemployment…

On Wednesday, the editor of a respected independent news site, Lenta.ru, was abruptly replaced with a pro-government journalist after the site published an interview with a Ukrainian nationalist…

On Thursday, three opposition websites and a blog were blocked by the government’s communications watchdog, the first use of a new law that came into effect last month, which allows sites to be blocked without a court order…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

The First Edition of Just The Facts! is ready to ship to you without cost.


The Second Edition of What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools is now available from the publisher


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Show us the money

Things Nigerian have been in the news recently. If you've read the last few excerpts about Nigeria featured here, you've heard some what follows in Will Ross' report for the BBC. But he explains things well, so I'll live with the repetition. The question is: Will politics be the resolution? Or just a transfer from one set of thieves to another?

There's a link to Ross' interview with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian Finance Minister, embedded in the BBC article.

Is Nigeria serious about tackling corruption?
President Jonathan
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan wants the world to believe he and his government are serious about ending corruption. But two recent events have sent out the opposite message.

As President Jonathan handed out awards to celebrate Nigeria's centenary, there was a collective leap of eyebrows when people learnt that former President Sani Abacha was on the list. Many wondered why a military dictator who had plundered the nation was being celebrated?…

The second event came after outspoken Central Bank governor Lamido Sanusi had accused the state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), of failing to account for $20bn in oil revenues.

Some critics accused Mr Sanusi of playing politics but when he was then accused himself of financial recklessness and was suspended, it was widely seen as a move to silence a whistleblower who was causing the government embarrassment…

It was by no means the first time that corruption in the NNPC was being highlighted. But this is on another level. The allegation is that more than $1bn was disappearing every month over a 19-month period…

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Nigeria's finance minister has a formidable international reputation, having worked as a managing director at the World Bank. But analysts say she is now in a dilemma.

"The finance minister is a reformer at heart but she is in direct conflict with very deep vested interests," says financial analyst Bismarck Rewane.

"She has to confront those vested interests or else her credibility as a reformer goes."

Past reports of gross plunder in the oil sector have been buried with little action taken, leaving many Nigerians with the belief that those implicated are too powerful to touch. So why would it be different this time around?

Lagos-based banker Akintunde Oyebode notes that the governing People's Democratic Party no longer dominates Nigeria politics and faces a credible challenger in next year's elections, while voters are becoming "more sophisticated".

"I wouldn't like to be the party that promises oil sector reforms and doesn't deliver because in four years that party will be out of government."

It is a glimmer of hope that the thieves' days may be numbered.

Nigerian leader orders audit of missing billions
President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered a forensic audit by international firms into some $20 billion allegedly missing from petroleum sales, following weeks of public outrage and demands by a Senate committee and the finance minister.

Jonathan’s announcement came buried in a statement attacking ousted Central Bank Gov. Lamido Sanusi, insisting that his suspension last month was unrelated to his whistle-blowing about what it calls ‘‘the phantom missing funds.’’

In a statement dated Wednesday, Jonathan also denied Sanusi’s charges that the money has been diverted to fund campaigning for February 2015 elections where the governing People’s Democratic Party will face its biggest challenge since taking power in 1994 elections that ended decades of military dictatorship...

When he was re-elected in 2011, Jonathan promised to fight corruption that keeps an elite fabulously wealthy while the majority of Africa’s most populous nation of some 170 million people struggle to survive on less than $1 a day, according to U.N. statistics.

But now Jonathan’s administration is seen as shielding the corrupt, most infamously by the pardon issued by the president last year of the ex-governor from his home state of Bayelsa... [His] properties and funds in the United States and Britain were seized as proceeds of corruption in recent years...

Previous investigations of billions in missing public funds have ended without resolution, with no one held to account and no money recovered.

No one has been prosecuted for a fuel subsidy scam uncovered in 2012, in which some $17 billion was paid to companies for fuel that never was delivered.

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.

Just The Facts! is a directory of concepts, vocabulary, and examples that will help you review for the big exam.


What You Need to Know is a thorough guide to the comparative government and politics curriculum.


What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 is a helpful guide for teachers planning classes or review sessions


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