May 01, 2007
Nigeria: The Corruption of Oil
BY Darren Foster
Members of the militant group, MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta), patrol the oil-rich region.
During three weeks in one of the most corrupt countries in the world, I managed to pay only one bribe, and that was to get the hell out. Sure, I had paid "area boys," as young Nigerian hoodlums are known, for "protection" and I gave a little cash to the Big Man of one slum because that was the price to "snap, snap," or film in his territory. But I never actually paid an official. Not that I wasn't asked.
The military and police operate a comical number of checkpoints on Nigerian roadways. And each one is an opportunity for them to collect.