Officials in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta have been accused of squandering funds that should have been used to provide services for the poor. “Public schools have been left to fall apart and health care facilities lack even the most basic of amenities,” Human Rights Watch says in a new 107-page report, “Chop Fine: The Human Rights Impact of Local Government Corruption and Mismanagement in Rivers State, Nigeria.” The report details the misuse of public funds by local officials in the geographic heart of Nigeria?s booming oil industry, and the harmful effects on primary education and basic health care. The report is based on scores of interviews in Rivers state with government and donor agency officials, civil servants, health care workers, teachers, civil society groups and local residents. Human Rights Watch also analyzed state and local government budgets. Nigeria’s is Africa’s biggest oil-producer, but much of the population live on less than USD 1 a day. The report used case studies from the country’s top oil-producing state, Rivers, to show how millions of petrodollars have either been misused or stolen by public officials in Africa’s biggest oil producer.
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