Nigeria and piracy: Advocacy for image enhancement

DURING a seminar in the UK attended by the author, a paper on Nigeria and piracy was presented by a DPhil researcher who had never been to Nigeria but who spoke so passionately (to a mainly European audience) about Nigeria’s incapacity to transform itself. Although the presentation was brilliant, it was marred by a few inaccurate and somewhat exaggerated assertions and statistics; not surprising considering that the presenter carried out a three year long research exercise on Nigeria based mainly on secondary data.
The presentation suggested that piracy in West Africa, said to be more violent than elsewhere, has been caused by factors such as military incursion into politics, permissive political environment, endemic corruption especially amongst the leadership cadre, weak legal jurisdiction and weak command and control structure in the Navy. However, these factors appear to be more of the symptoms than the root causes of the problem.
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