Money Trail website

The series – The Nigerian Cartel

3 June 2020 by Damilola Banjo, Kelechukwu Ogu and Lorenzo Bagnoli

In Nigeria, for years, the same political and financial elite have been in charge. Politicians and entrepreneurs who control the two historically most profitable supply chains in the country: construction and oil.

The managerial and entrepreneurial class has grown so rich that it has transformed pieces of Lagos, the economic capital, into a small Dubai.

This has also deepened social inequality: almost seven out of every ten inhabitants of Lagos live in informal, slum-like communities. The inequality between rich and poor has been fuelled by a corrupt ruling class and an international context that has agreed to pay bribes to continue working in Nigeria.

Between 1965 and 2005 alone Oxfam International estimates that at least 20 trillion dollars were taken from the Nigerian Treasury, money that ended up in offshore safes run by complacent entrepreneurs. They are the protagonists of the stories in this series of investigations. The theft of public resources, one of the main causes of the chronic inequality that afflicts Nigerian society, has not stopped in the 15 years that the statistics do not take into account.


Find the full series here, here and here