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The BBC on Nigeria – beyond parody

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 2 January 2019

Taxpayer funded, BBC Radio 4 has just run a long report on the problems Nigeria faces. It started with David Cameron slamming the country as being corrupt back in 2016. This, the BBC argued, was unhelpful. It was a bad thing to say. I am not normally one to defend Call Me Dave, but on this occasion.

Transparency International which monitors corruption ranks countries on scores ranging from 0 (utterly corrupt) through to 100 ( as honest as Mother Theresa). Guess what? In 2017 Nigeria scored just 28 coming in as the 148th most honest nation on earth out of 180.  In short Call Me Dave was, for once, bang on the money.

The BBC then turned to Nigeria’s problems, not bothering to mention that it is the world’s 13th largest oil producer and 20th largest economy. Anyhow, the BBC insists that it has problems and interviewed a local big wig who insisted that all the problems were the fault of …the British. Yes of course, agreed the BBC.

As it happened the evil Britishers, having set up legal and democratic structures which have survived perfectly well elsewhere in other former colonies, departed in 1960. Within seven years the Nigerians were fighting a civil war and have since flitted between democracy and dictatorship.  I guess that is all the fault of the Britishers too. The British Empire was, in the fake news, world of the BBC an unmitigated force for bad and its legacy is poisonous.

We evil Britishers left Nigeria 58 years ago. For how long can we be blamed for the country’s ills (despite its oil windfall) while other former colinies manage (without oil) to do so well?

But there is hope. Alleluia!

The EU. Yes the BBC and interviewer agreed that the EU was starting to intervene and offered the chance of real change. Given its expertise in tackling endemic corruption and driving economic prosperity it is hard to think of a more appropriate saviour for Nigeria.  The whole report was beyond parody.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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