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.
Three months on, the economic policy of General Olusegun Obasanjo's government remains opaque. While the price of oil, which at US$20 a barrel is nearly twice that of the beginnin...
Trades unionists and Communists try to roll back the free market bandwagon
South Africa's trades unions chose to confront the country's new President, Thabo Mbeki, just after his inauguration and before he'd had time to find his feet (AC Vol 40 Nos 12 &am...