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Vol 40 No 17

Published 27th August 1999


Nigeria

Obasanjo's one hundred days

President Obasanjo moves with surprising speed against patronage but the inevitable clouds loom

For now, it is no longer business as usual in Nigeria. In just three months, President Olusegun Obasanjo's whisk broom of reform has swept away the notoriously parasitical middlemen from crude oil sales, last-minute prospecting licences farmed out to cronies of General Abdulsalami Abubakar's government and a billion dollars' worth of miscellaneous contracts awarded in the last five months of military rule (AC Vol 40 No 12). Even Abubakar - who won worldwide applause for bringing his transition programme to a successful conclusion - may face public scrutiny. The Senate is seeking an explanation for US$2.5 bn. of spending under his authority for which there are few records at the Central Bank of Nigeria. The government has also sent an anti-corruption bill to the National Assembly, set up committees to probe political and economic misdeeds during military rule and allowed World Bank auditors into the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

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