Despite the efforts of the anti-corruption agencies, Nigeria’s corruption data remains worrisome as a recent study ranks the country as the second most corrupt in West Africa (#154) out of 180 countries evaluated globally.
This is based on statistics from Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2021. The index assigns a score to each country on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being the most corrupt and 100 being the cleanest.
Why Nigeria was downgraded
Nigeria has a historic low on the 2021 CPI. According to the agency, the downgrade was as a result of:
· Activities of more than 100 powerful individuals were exposed as having used anonymous companies to buy properties with a total worth of £350 million in the United Kingdom alone.
· Secretive dealings among Nigeria’s powerholders were previously reported as part of the Panama Papers and FinCEN Files investigations. Inaction over past disclosures has created a sense of impunity, stalling anti-corruption progress in the country.
What you should know
Nigeria was ranked (154) in 2021, down from (149) in 2020, with a score of 24 out of 100; This means that corruption in the country’s public sector has worsened over the last 3 years, despite the present administration’s efforts to combat bad practices.
In 2019 Nigeria was ranked (#146) out of 180 countries questioned in the 2019 study, with a score of 26 out of 100. Nigeria’s ranking in the 2020 report declined three places to (#149) out of 180 countries surveyed, with a score of 25 out of 100.
Nigeria follows Guinea Bissau, ranked (#162) on the index as the most corrupt nation in West Africa, scoring 21 points. In Sub-Saharan Africa, South Sudan and Libya are perceived as the most corrupt nations in the region and on earth.
Other African countries perceived as more corrupt than Nigeria include Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Comoros, Congo, Guinea Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, and South Sudan.
In comparison, with a score of 70, Seychelles (#23), Africa’s smallest country, is also the least corrupt. Other major improvements include neighbouring countries Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania, all of which have risen to the top of the least corrupt countries list.