If Nigeria is so rich, why are Nigerians poor?

In the chapter “If Nigeria is so rich, why are Nigerians so poor”, Campbell first provided a overview of Nigerians’ low living conditions, as indicated by their high infant mortality rate, far-below poverty line income, as well as early marriage age for women. Campbell then provided to dissect the current political and socio-economic situation of Nigeria. Careful analysis showed that poverty of ordinary Nigerians are potentially linked to the unequal wealth distribution as a result of oil industry. It is also evident, according to Campbell, that the dysfunction of the government, mainly corruption for local governments and short-sighted policies from the central government.

A BBC article from 6 months ago highlighted the anti-corruption campaign in China. Although anti-corruption is not a new topic in China, the coming of power of president XiJingPing led to greater emphasis and further development of the agenda. The newly formed “watchdog” organization, the NSC (State Supervisory Commission) will be monitoring any individuals of political power, even including non-party members.

Can democratic consolidation come before democratic transition?

The measurement of democratic consolidation is closely related to the substantive definition of democracy. Many democratic countries, including Nigeria, suffer a low rating in such measurement despite being democratic. It is not implausible that shortcomes of these countries, including poverty, corruption, and social exclusion can destabilize their political system. Sometimes authoritarian and unitary system, such as China, are more reliable and efficient in improving nations in these aspects. Thus, it is possible to conceive democratic transition that follows “democratic” consolidation carried by authoritarian regimes. However, the major issue of such system is that the authoritarian regime will likely succeed in staying in power if they do manage to improve its country in these standards, a good example being China again.

  1. Dickovick, James Tyler, and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, (New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
  2. “China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Expands with New Agency.” BBC News, BBC, 20 Mar. 2018, www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-43453769.

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