The Difference Between American Corruption and Nigerian Corruption

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Nigerian Corruption

aYou walk into the passport office.

You need to get a new passport as soon as possible. But the line … the line is long, it wraps around like those elaborate head ties you admire. Except this time you are not in the mood for admiration.

You immediately spot a scrappy looking security man in the corner, on the surface he does not look hungry but you can feel the hunger beyond his pressed clothes and wry smile. You walk up to him and say “bros how far?”

The phrase itself is meaningless but its the way you say it that makes everything click.

You say it while looking sadly at the long wrapping line. Immediately the guard gets your message, you slip him some money faster than a pure water seller on third mainland bridge chasing his money.

And before you know it, you are ushered into a secret passage way, you settle some other people, by the time the damage is done you have spent approximately $100. But you get in, you jump the line, you get treated specially, you get your passport.

American Corruption

You are in America, you just lost your American passport. And you need a new passport to attend that “important” business conference on the beaches of Brazil.

You walk into the passport office, there is no line, but they tell you that the process will take about 1 to 2 weeks to replace your passport. But you can’t wait that long. So you look around for a scrappy security man to help you out, but this is America they don’t have security guards whose only job is to open the door hail you.

Its just you and the man behind the desk. So you say “bros how far” but this time in American English, as in, “Is there anyway you can help me please?”

He looks up, and smiles, you smile too, but he pulls out a form. An “expediting” form he calls it. For the price of $100 you can get your passport in 2-3 days time just in time for your Brazilian party diplomatic meeting. You reluctantly pay the money, you get a receipt, an actual receipt.

You then get ushered into a special office, you get treated differently from other people, but you get your passport in the mail 2 days later!

Two Countries Two Different Outcomes

“Corruption is an inevitable by product of capitalism”

Same $100 but a different outcome. In one country the $100 is seen as a bribe, while in the other it is seen as a fee. Subtle but huge!

You see, the difference between America and Nigeria is that the former has found a way to legalize its corruption while the latter is still battling (without success) to eradicate its corruption!, when all they need to do is legalize it.

twitterWords by Okechukwu Ofili of
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Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
Follow him on Twitter
Stalk him on Instagram
Read his crazy titled books on konga or okadabooks
Feed his children at…no wait he has no kids…. 

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5 comments on “The Difference Between American Corruption and Nigerian Corruption

  1. SherlockO on said:

    Hmmm Ofili o! I feel the pull of this view too but make we analyse this thing just a bit more. America would say 2 weeks and it indeed would take 2 weeks. The expediting action would indeed be just that. Ppl will have to work extra hours at extra pay to get your document ready 12 days earlier while keeping their 2 weeks commitment to the other customers. And they must be paid for the extra hours! But not Naija. Here they would leave all the thorns, bricks and boulders in your way just so that the expedited option becomes the only option. That’s the real difference. I’m afraid you might be looking for corruption in places where there aren’t any…

    • Curious-City on said:

      Very Apt, Ofili. But actually, SherlockO you seem to have trust issues with Nigeria(ns). And the American immigration staff won’t have to be paid extra/overtime or pull long hours for expedition, they will just have 1 person in their hire whose job it is to solely process fast track applications. Having said that, I do see your logic and reckon that’s the real issue with Nigeria(ns) – greed. Not corruption. Call me naive but I have faith that if Nigerian folk are allowed to legally be corrupt (e.g the fast track forms for $100 with receipt), they’ll have no reason to be greedy about everything aka “naija sense”.

  2. Also to add to the previous comments. The American dollars actually goes to the government’s pocket while the Nigerian dollars goes into the officers and others pockets.

  3. SherlockO on said:

    Ok I accept your explanation on how Fast track is implemented. Lemme agree for a moment that fast track is legal corruption. Adopting same in Naija still wouldn’t solve anything. Again in Naija they’ll make it the only option. So it’ll be a legal option but in a sense, illegally the only option. I’m glad Curious-City that you still have faith but I’ve seen enough to lose mine.

  4. Louis on said:

    Wow I love this write up. I once told a friend that filling stations should have a ‘priority access’ gate well defined with a clear sign so that when there is a queue it should be well known to everyone that the priority gate opens for N500 or N1000 if you care and those thugs should be sent out by the fillin station owners. It makes sense for people to pay for priority treatment like we do when flying or buying a football ticket. we need to organize our systems properly.

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