By Daniel Jordan Smith
E-mails offering an "urgent company relationship" assist in making fraud Nigeria's greatest resource of international profit after oil. yet scams also are a relevant a part of Nigeria's household cultural panorama. Corruption is so common in Nigeria that its voters name it easily "the Nigerian factor." keen or unwilling members in corruption at each flip, Nigerians are deeply ambivalent approximately it--resigning themselves to it, justifying it, or complaining approximately it. they're painfully conscious of the wear corruption does to their kingdom and notice themselves as their very own worst enemies, yet they've been not able to forestall it. A tradition of Corruption is a profound and sympathetic try to comprehend the dilemmas common Nigerians face each day as they fight to get ahead--or simply survive--in a society riddled with corruption.
Drawing on firsthand adventure, Daniel Jordan Smith paints a vibrant portrait of Nigerian corruption--of national gasoline shortages in Africa's oil-producing vast, net cafés the place the younger release their email scams, checkpoints the place drivers needs to bribe police, bogus enterprises that siphon improvement reduction, and homes painted with the fraud-preventive phrases "not for sale." this can be a kingdom the place "419"--the variety of an antifraud statute--has develop into an inescapable a part of the tradition, and so common as a metaphor for deception that even a betrayed lover can say, "He performed me 419." it truly is most unlikely to appreciate Nigeria today--from vigilantism and resurgent ethnic nationalism to emerging Pentecostalism and accusations of witchcraft and cannibalism--without knowing the function performed through corruption and renowned reactions to it.
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Additional resources for A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria
The significance of the state in Nigeria is intensified by the particular history and current configuration of Nigeria's petroleumdominated political economy (Watts 1992; Karl 1997; Apter 2005). Oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1958, but it was not until the 1970s, when the country joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the Middle East crisis sent the price of oil skyrocketing, that Nigeria was transformed into a "petro-state" (Watts 1994; Apter 2005; for a similar analysis of Venezuela's petro-state, see Coronil 1997).
When club member and local businessperson Goddy Nwogu said, "Our national thieves may have changed from khaki to agbada (from military to civilian dress), but that has not changed the Nigerian factor," his statement provoked gestures and sounds of assent, ranging from laughter and resignation to anger and dismay. Nigerians routinely complain about corruption. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is the national pastime. Stories range from the large scale to the mundane, but the archetypal narrative focuses on how the country has squandered its rich natural and human resources.
In many ways, corruption has become the dominant discourse of complaint in the postcolonial world, symbolizing people's disappointments with democracy and development, and their frustrations with continuing social inequality. In this book, as mentioned earlier, I aim to understand the mechanisms of everyday corruption in Nigeria. Further, I document, interpret, and analyze Nigerians' multiple responses to corruption. These responses are signaled in overt narratives of complaint, but extend to diverse arenas of social imagination and cultural production.
A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria by Daniel Jordan Smith