13 August 2008

The problem with 50%

Akwa Ibom based NGO, Community Watch of Nigeria, called for 50% of oil revenues to be shared with the Niger Delta as a possible solution to the conflict there (read article here).

All of this is well and good, but it seems like routing more money through corrupt agencies or state or local governments will merely increase the chaos. Yes the Niger Delta deserves its fair share of revenues, but how do you ensure that the money actually benefits the residents of the area, rather than further enriching a governor or local elite?

The term "resource curse" exists for a reason, and the Niger Delta is a classic example. More money flowing into the Delta simply means more to steal, and further instability.

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