A march against corruption in Ibadan: But TI says corruption remains endemic in Nigeria

Nigeria continues to wallow in corruption, according to the annual corruption perception index released by Transparency International in Berlin today.

After more than four years of anti-corruption campaign by the Buhari administration, Nigeria was ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed by the group, one of the worst ranking in the last few years. Nigeria was 144th in 2018.

Nigeria’s score of 26 out of 100 points is below the global average of 43. In Africa, countries such as Botswana(61), Cape Verde(60), Rwanda(53), Namibia(52), Senegal(45), South Africa(44( and Tunisia(43) met the average. Benin(41) Ghana(41), Morocco(41), Burkina Faso(40), Lesotho(40), Ethiopia(37), Tanzania(37), Algeria and Egypt(35), Zambia(34), Sierra Leone(33), Niger(32), Malawi(31), Djibouti(30) and Guinea(29) are ranked higher than Nigeria.

Nigeria is ranked higher than Cameroon(25), CAR(25), Comoros(25), Zimbabwe(24), Madagascar(24), Eritrae(23), Chad(20), Equatorial Guinea(16), Guinea Bissau(18) and Somalia, the worst country in the world, with a score of 8 and ranking at 180th.

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The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, drawing on 13 expert assessments and surveys of business executives. It uses a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

How Nigeria fared in Corruption Perception Index

More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of only 43. Since 2012, only 22 countries have significantly improved their scores, including Estonia, Greece and Guyana. Twenty-one have significantly declined, including Australia, Canada and Nicaragua.

Analysis shows that countries that perform well on the CPI also have stronger enforcement of campaign finance regulations and broader range of political consultation.

Countries where campaign finance regulations are comprehensive and systematically enforced have an average score of 70 on the CPI, whereas countries where such regulations either don’t exist or are poorly enforced score an average of just 34 and 35 respectively.

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Sixty per cent of the countries that significantly improved their CPI scores since 2012 also strengthened regulations around campaign donations.

“The lack of real progress against corruption in most countries is disappointing and has profound negative effects on citizens around the world,” said Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International.

“To have any chance of ending corruption and improving peoples’ lives, we must tackle the relationship between politics and big money. All citizens must be represented in decision making.”

Countries with broader and more open consultation processes score an average of 61 on the CPI. By contrast, where there is little to no consultation, the average score is just 32.

A vast majority of countries that significantly decreased their CPI scores since 2012 do not engage the most relevant political, social and business actors in political decision-making.

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To reduce corruption and restore trust in politics, Transparency International recommends that governments:
* Reinforce checks and balances and promote separation of powers.
*Tackle preferential treatment to ensure budgets and public services aren’t driven by personal
connections or biased towards special interests;
* Control political financing to prevent excessive money and influence in politics;
* Manage conflicts of interest and address “revolving doors”;
* Regulate lobbying activities by promoting open and meaningful access to decision-making;
* Strengthen electoral integrity and prevent and sanction misinformation campaigns;
* Empower citizens and protect activists, whistleblowers and journalists