Basra Governor Speaks on Corruption, Security

By Mushreq Abbas for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Basra governor Majid al-Nasrawi confirmed that his city had contracted a British security consulting firm (whose name he would not disclose before the completion of the contract) to oversee Basra's security contracts and provide studies in this regard.

Nasrawi noted that corruption is pervasive in all parts of the Iraqi state, which operates according to outdated standards and mechanisms. He confirmed that the US company Hill International had prepared Basra's 2040 Strategic Plan, which would include all of Basra's projects until that date.

He revealed what he dubbed the "KMK phenomenon," which involves local companies linked to political parties that operate in the name of foreign companies in the city. Here is the text of the interview:

Al-Monitor: You took office as governor of Basra four months ago. Anyone who returns to Basra after some time away sees it as a "tired" city. How do you see it?

Nasrawi: As a citizen [of Basra], I have always felt that the city never gets what it deserves. Basra's budget for 2012 was $3 billion, yet despite that we have not seen a significant change in the reality of the situation. Thus, I think that Basra must seriously address the reality it is facing. Basra did not diagnose its problems correctly, and thus the treatments have been wrong over the years. This is evidenced by the fact that money was spent and efforts were made, but they did not change the reality of this "tired" city at any level. This is characteristic of the entire Iraqi experience.

Personally, I've tried to search for long-term treatments for Basra's problems. I did not pay much attention to patchwork solutions. For those who claim that this is all an adventure for electoral purposes, I would say that it is not a requirement that we see results now. Rather, it is important that the solutions be deep-rooted and in the form of a road map that future governments can rely on.

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