Corruption threatens Jonathan’s quest for $1B foreign loan to fight Boko Haram —Report

Posted by News Express | 19 July 2014 | 3,544 times

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is seeking up to $1 billion in foreign loans to help fight Boko Haram militants but the country’s reputation for corruption could make foreign donors wary, according to VOA.

The extremist group kidnapped more than 200 girls from their school in Chibok, Borno State, North-East Nigeria on April 14.

And, in a recently released video, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said his group was also responsible for a June blast that killed two people in Lagos.

The two incidents are among a long string of attacks prompting Jonathan to seek foreign loans to finance Nigeria’s battle against the militants.

Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer and has continent’s largest economy. But VOA quotes Brookings Institution global economy expert Richard Joseph as saying the country does need more outside help.

“We need a major global plan focusing on northern Nigeria,” he was quoted this afternoon as saying.

Joseph was part of a U.S. delegation that recently traveled to Nigeria to discuss possible foreign assistance.

He says while Nigeria has considerable resources of its own, there are questions about the use of those resources. His words: “Nigeria has been recently putting a lot of funds, for example, into its military. But it is not seeing that reflected in an increased capacity of military and security forces to deal with Boko Haram and other violent threats.”

VOA quotes Mark Pyman of the anti-corruption group Transparency International, as saying that one reason why those funds seem to be making no impact is that they are likely being misused.

“Many countries have allegations of corruption,” he said. “Nigeria’s are, of course, particularly serious,” he said.

Those allegations weaken any efforts by the government to fight militants, VOA says, further quoting Pyman as saying:

“Corruption is a real menace when it comes to security because insurgent organizations, such as Boko Haram, they both play upon the corruption vulnerabilities of the government and also they specifically target the, I’m sure, the defense and security forces.”

Pyman supports the government’s efforts to seek out foreign and technical assistance but says Nigeria needs to focus on making sure any aid it receives is used for its intended purpose.

•Photo shows President Jonathan.

Source: News Express

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