Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink

One of my classmates in DC recommended this book after I was assigned to Nigeria. It was written by former US ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell. I couldn’t have read it at a better time as it provides an excellent review of Nigeria’s history and current challenges from the perspective of someone who was right in the thick of things.

I didn’t know much at all about Nigeria beyond the infamous issues associated with oil, violence, and scams.  There isn’t much about Nigerian princes but the violence and oil gets plenty of attention. I didn’t realize that Nigeria had suffered under such atrocious governance since its relatively recent independence in 1960. Successive military coups were followed by massively rigged elections into the 1990s. The corruption of this society is hard to comprehend: upwards of 90% of the population lives in poverty and there has been little fundamental investment in the country in terms of infrastructure or agriculture.

It’s hard to talk about the book without just recounting the information in it so I’ll just conclude with a recommendation for it for those interested in Nigeria, developing country issues, or are curious about how corruption can affect a country.

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