Archives for Institutions

The ‘Selfie State’: State Capture in Nigeria

Summary: This paper presents a variation on the theme of state capture as it is more generally understood in the literature. The term “state capture” is more widely used to refer to a situation in which non-state actors have captured the state by influencing public officials, or where powerful state officials are using non-state actors to direct state resources to private benefit. This paper offers a different perspective: that in which the state, through its institutions and structure, has managed to capture itself. I refer to such a state as a ‘selfie state’ and use Nigeria as a prism for
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  I’d like to comment on the fact that the Federal Ministry of Works did not execute any Capital projects in 2017. As always, my comments will be from a technical, rather than political, angle. First, some basics. The way it should run is that the annual budget runs from January to December every year. Quite often, it doesn’t get passed until the May or June of its year of operation (5 or 6 months late). Naturally, this makes nonsense of any plans it should fund. Whose fault is it that the budget is late? We like to blame the
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Nigeria Only Needs 6 Ministers. Sack The Other 30!

That got your attention, right? Preposterous idea, isn’t it? Or is it? Well, proponents of the Minimalist State argue that Government should only focus on Security, Health and Education, and leave everything else to the private sector to do. They will say “Let’s allow government to only have Ministers for Health, Education, Defence and Interior. That’s all! Everything else should be private sector run! Oh, alright then, let’s be generous and allow them Finance and Petroleum Ministers to make it 6, but we must really sack everyone else! Given the state of our economy, we really cannot justify spending money
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