• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Corruption Index: Nigeria’s rating improves, ranks 145

When Professionals binge on the food of the gods

Nigeria’s corruption rating improved by five steps, according to the recently released 2023 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International (TI). Out of the 180 countries, Nigeria scored 25 out of the 100 points. The country ranks 145 out of 180 countries, the same as Mozambique, Madagascar, and Liberia.

Nigeria had in 2022 scored 24 out of 100 points and was ranked 150 among 180 countries on the 2022 Corruption Perception Index.

The 2023 CPI assessed how countries like Nigeria have responded to corruption over time. It also reviewed progress and failures over the last decade and beyond.

Every region is either stagnant in its overall corruption efforts or showing signs of decline. However, a few countries have significantly improved their scores in the last decade, showing that progress is possible in any environment.

Denmark which scored 90 out of 100 points ranks number 1 in the CPI, followed by Finland which scored 87, ranking 2nd while New Zealand which ranks 3rd in the Corruption Perception Index scored 85.

While Western Europe and the European Union remain the top-scoring regions, its regional average score dropped to 65 this year, as checks and balances weaken and political integrity erodes. Despite improvement in some countries, Sub-Saharan Africa maintains the lowest average at 33, with democracy and the rule of law under pressure.

The rest of the world remains stagnant with all other regions having averages under 50. Eastern Europe and Central Asia grapple with the dysfunctional rule of law, rising authoritarianism and systemic corruption.

Somalia which scored 11 out of 100 is ranked 180 out of the 180 countries on the Index. South Sudan, Syria and Venezuela all scored 13 out of 100, ranking 177 respectively out of 180 countries. Yemen scored 16 out of 100 and was ranked 176 out of 180 countries.

The CPI analysis specifically focused on how weakening justice systems contributed to a lack of accountability for public officials, thereby allowing corruption to thrive.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is the leading global indicator of public sector corruption, providing an annual comparative snapshot of 180 countries and territories. The index for 2023 was calculated using data from 13 external sources.

“This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows mixed results in Africa, with significant improvements in a few countries.

However, most African countries experienced stagnation, maintaining the region’s consistently poor performance, with an unaltered regional average score of 33 out of 100. Ninety percent of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) scored under 50,” according to regional advisors for Africa at Transparency International.

It noted that cases of corruption and related challenges in justice systems in SSA region range from reports of bribery to extortion and political interference in the justice systems of countries like Nigeria (25), to the dismissal and imprisonment of magistrates accused of corruption in Burundi (20), and all the way to the denial of justice for victims of human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (20).

“These examples underscore the justice system’s crucial role in safeguarding basic human rights and social equity.

“Democracy across Africa is also under pressure with a rise in the number of unconstitutional changes in some of the lowest-scoring countries, including Mali (28), Guinea (26), Niger (32) and Gabon (28), with insecurity and corruption cited as the main underlying reasons. Since 2020, there have been nine coups in the Sahel region and Central Africa,” Transparency International said.

Despite a regional survey ranking corruption among the most important problems that Africans want their governments to address, the 2023 CPI shows that countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have a long way to go in their fight against corruption.

Seychelles (CPI score: 71) remains the top scorer in the region, followed by Cabo Verde (64) and Botswana (59). Equatorial Guinea (17), South Sudan (13) and Somalia (11) perform the lowest with no sign of improvement.

President Bola Tinubu early this year declared that his government will not relent in addressing corruption and other vices, noting that it is a sacred duty to ensure that the country is set right for the prosperity of all Nigerians.

Transparency International said: “Despite an economic growth rate of 3.3 percent in 2023, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to grapple with extreme poverty, affecting about 462 million people. The region’s persistent challenges stem from decades of severe underfunding in public sectors, exacerbated by corruption and illicit financial flows siphoning resources away from basic public services.

“Addressing social and economic issues remains ineffective, often at the expense of the most vulnerable population. Corruption in justice delivery mechanisms disproportionately affects the poorest citizens and those who depend primarily on public services, such as people living with disabilities or women and children, hindering the realisation of global and regional development goals”.