Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Limitations on state capacity

When officials and military officers collect salaries for non-existent workers and soldiers, that's one kind of corruption. Stealing and selling food meant for starving people is another kind. The authorities in Nigeria don't seem to be able to do much about either kind of theft.

'Half' Nigeria food aid for Boko Haram victims not delivered
Up to half the food aid meant for people who have fled Nigeria's Islamist insurgency has reportedly not been delivered, the government says.

Food aid in Nigeria
It described it as a "diversion of relief materials", which correspondents say is a euphemism for theft.

A statement from the acting president's office added that security was being beefed up to protect the deliveries.

As a result of Boko Haram violence some 8.5 million Nigerians in the north-east need life-saving aid, officials say.

Poor rains have exacerbated a problem caused by fighting with Boko Haram Islamist militants, which has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes…

The statement from acting President Yemi Osinbajo said aid going missing had "dogged food delivery" and then cited reports saying that more than 50 lorries out of every 100 sent to the north-east never reach their destination.

It does not say what has happened to the diverted food, but in May two Nigerian officials were jailed for selling food aid.

Last week, Nigeria apologised to Saudi Arabia after 200 tonnes of dates the kingdom sent as a Ramadan gift were found on sale in local markets.

Mr Osinbajo said that the latest consignment of aid which is making its way to the north-east is being protected by more than a thousand soldiers.

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