At 144th in the world, Nigeria sinks deeper in corruption index


Nigeria remains one of the most corrupt nations in the world, according to the latest report by Transparency International.

In the group’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, Nigeria ranked 144th, out of 177 nations in the world, scoring 25 points out of a possible 100 points.

Nigeria’s corruption performance this year was worse than last year’s, when it scored 27 points. This year, Nigeria shared the podium of infamy with crisis-torn Central African Republic and neighbour, Cameroon.

Denmark and New Zealand are the cleanest countries in the world, sharing the first spot in the index, with scores of 91. Afghanistan, North Korea and strife torn, Somalia are the worst, with scores of 8 points, a woeful performance indeed.

Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia and Canada emerged in the top ten of least corrupt nations in the world.

With a score of 63 points, Botswana, the southern African nation, is rated the cleanest African country.It is the 30th in the world. Ghana is the star of West Africa, garnering 46 points to emerge 63rd in the world.

Transparency says this year’s report underscores the global reality that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world as more than two thirds of the 177 countries in the 2013 index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).

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“The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 demonstrates that all countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government, from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

“The top performers clearly reveal how transparency supports accountability and can stop corruption,” said Labelle. “Still, the better performers face issues like state capture, campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts which remain major corruption risks.” The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on experts’ opinions of public sector corruption.

Countries’ scores can be helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions, while a lack of accountability across the public sector coupled with ineffective public institutions hurts these perceptions.

Public sector corruption threatens to undermine global initiatives.

Corruption within the public sector remains one of the world’s biggest challenges, Transparency International said, particularly in areas such as political parties, police, and justice systems.

Public institutions need to be more open about their work and officials must be more transparent in their decision-making. Corruption remains notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute. Future efforts to respond to climate change, economic crisis and extreme poverty will face a massive roadblock in the shape of corruption, Transparency International warned. International bodies like the G20 must crack down on money laundering, make corporations more transparent and pursue the return of stolen assets.

“It is time to stop those who get away with acts of corruption. The legal loopholes and lack of political will in government facilitate both domestic and cross-border corruption, and call for our intensified efforts to combat the impunity of the corrupt,” said Labelle.