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Nigeria ranked 41st (of 53) by 2011 Ibrahim Index of African Governance | Ghana – 7th, South Africa – 5th



On Sunday, something happened that shook me to the core.
A member of our household staff went for a walk at night, for whatever reason, a broken bottle was laying on the road and accidentally he walked on it and cut his foot.

He didn’t mention anything to anyone. Instead, he came back home and started “pressing” the wound while it bled profusely. Apparently, he felt that way the correct course of action. After that, he cut some “bitterleaf” from the garden and placed it on his wound.

It didn’t stop the pain or the bleeding so he called us on the phone.

This was at about 11.30PM.

When we got to him, we saw him writhing in pain on the ground with a huge pool of blood around his feet.

Note that there were no reliable emergency service numbers that we considered calling.

Immediately, we elevated his feet, got some cloth to help stop the bleeding and he was driven to the hospital.

Or so we thought…

After driving around for over 40 minutes, all the hospitals and even pharmacies were closed.
As in completely shut! No lights on, no staff there, shut!

We called a doctor, he didn’t pick up. Apparently, many private hospitals claim that they are penalized by the Police for accepting patients at night because this attracts armed robbers who have been shot etc…


Finally found an open pharmacy.
The member of staff said “I cannot clean the wound but I can give him injection“.
Imagine, he was not qualified enough to perform first aid but more than willing to administer a dose of anti-tetanus injection.

In the end, first aid items were purchased and he was brought back home.

By the time, we removed the bitterleaves, we luckily saw that the wound was not as deep as we thought. The wound was cleaned and bandaged. The next morning, he went to the hospital and got stitched up.

What is the moral of this tale?
If it was a serious accident, he could have bled out and died. This could have happened to any one of us!
In his case, a mix of lack of social responsibility (why was there a broken bottle on the road), lack of education (who gets cut and starts “pressing the wound so the blood will come out”?) and a poor healthcare system are the culprits.

So it was no surprise when we picked up a copy of the daily newspapers yesterday and saw that Nigeria had been ranked as No. 41 out of 53 countries by the 2011 Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The breakdown shows that we ranked 51st out of 53 for our health sector etc…

On the other hand, Ghana and South Africa made the top 10 in 7th and 5th place respectively.

Last week, Cape Verde’s ex-president won the $5,000,000 African governance prize. According to the Globe & Mail,

After two years of failing to find any suitable candidate for their lucrative prize, judges have finally found a winner for the $5-million Ibrahim prize for African leadership – and he is from one of the tiniest countries in the continent. The prize has been awarded to Pedro Verona Pires, ex-president of the small island state of Cape Verde, which has barely 500,000 inhabitants. He was praised for introducing democracy, boosting the economy, and stepping down promptly at the end of his term limit without trying to extend his rule. But the awarding of the prize was accompanied by strong warnings about stagnation and backsliding by dozens of countries across Africa.

The Ibrahim Index

  • is funded and led by an African institution
  • is Africa’s leading assessment of governance
  • provides a framework and tools for citizens, public authorities and partners to assess progress in governance
  • compiles 86 indicators grouped into 14 sub-categories and four overarching categories to measure the effective delivery of public goods and services to African citizens
  • uses indicators from 23 data providers
  • is made up of over 40,000 raw data points

A Closer Look – Nigeria

The Complete List – Click for a Clearer View

For more information, visit the Mo Ibrahim Foundation website

So what do you think?
Does Nigeria deserve this rank?


  1. someone

    October 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm


  2. Written

    October 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I am not even being funny but how did we escape 53?

    • Molotov_B

      October 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      I feel you.

    • haha

      October 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      The others are at war….

    • Ayo

      October 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      For real!

    • vivi

      October 11, 2011 at 9:13 pm


  3. Olubunmi

    October 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    This piece is lacking in substance and a bit myopic in it’s view. Writers like this are the reasons why nobody will see any good in this country. What’s the big deal about broken glass on the road? Is that a criteria for judging how civilized a nation is? Besides what town or village did this incident occur where the victim found it easier to walk out to a garden at 11.30pm with half a leg to get bitterleaf and not a piece of cloth. You should fire him as a staff if he could operate a phone (called you) and yet could not think of gauging the wound with cloth as against bitterleaf. And please spare me about no hospitals being open at 11.30pm in Nigeria to dress a cut…

    • Onyx

      October 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      “And please spare me about no hospitals being open at 11.30pm in Nigeria to dress a cut…”

      So in your informed opinion, that’s a good thing, right?

    • SINM

      October 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Unfortunately, this article is not myopic. Even if he did not talk about the one person who cut his leg outside his house, what of the people who are raped just like the case in Abia state right now. I am not saying that there is no good in Nigeria, there is still a lot of room for us to grow but please let us call things as they are. Nigeria and Nigerians are too smart to keep on taking first from behind in the basic things of life.

    • Kunbs

      October 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      it is also people like you that dont address the need for continious improvement in a objective manner that cause Nigeria to go 1 step forward and 2 steps back. The author has drawn on some very relevant issues – the things she highlighted are the things that we should me discussing everywhere – in the office, all forms of media and in our homes and schools…. and demanding. #whichwaynigeria?

    • MyOpinion

      October 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      I see where you’re coming from, but the funny thing is, we are always demanding, yet doing absolutely nothing. It’s very easy to tweet, blog and chat about it, but very difficult to leave the comforts of our homes to do anything. Nigeria has become a headache caused by the constant nagging of Nigerians. Fine, things aren’t go so well, but you expect one man to make right the wrongs of many. We keep saying NIGERIA, NIGERIA…who makes up Nigeria? Of course, the writers and the readers. Let’s clean up our own mess, not just the leaders’. May God help us get better as individuals. Only then can we build our nation, TOGETHER.

    • mary007

      October 12, 2011 at 4:40 am

      Olubunmi you are so small minded you refuse to open your brain to the bigger picture, its because of people who think like you that get into power at any cost that Nigeria is still where it is. This is do ideal, if the everyday Nigerian is still so backward, the health care is still is such disarray then I bleed cos we will soon take 54th out of 53. Just because less than a reasonable number of people can afford the newest gadgets does not make Nigeria alright! where food, health and live basics are still scarce we need more articles like this to open our minds

  4. AYO

    October 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Sad to hear,i saw this last night but i have decided to stop complaining in diaspora but rather start looking for meaning ways to impact ,girl child education and healthcare are my biggest concern.Realistically,even without an index findings/polls,rational 9jas know the national is at a throes of huge collapse.Guess I am FIRST

  5. sexy nerd

    October 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Its miraculous we got on the list at all. I do not believe this list at all. Somethings that are non existent in Nigeria were actually ranked. Participation, rights, welfare, education, health, personal safety? Come on!!! They can get away wit things that are not so obvious but not these. Any score above 9 for these is a joke. Infrastructure should be a confirmed ZERO of course. I wish, I really wish, I sincerely and honestly wish I could give the scores….

  6. Ahinde abayomi abiolar

    October 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Thank God for that ranking cos after 51 years of independence,see wot we have on ground…social amenities has became the dream and vision of visionless leaders…we need digital vision in a digital age not analog vision in this digital age

  7. Rachel

    October 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    If we deserve it? Totally.

  8. Ronke

    October 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    How on earth did we get dis bad? Its been moving from bad to worse and yet we still keep voting in the wrong individuals by claiming we are voting for them and not the party. it is well….

  9. darulous

    October 11, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    so called “giant of africa” there goes your dignity!!!

  10. Ginika

    October 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm


    • emi

      October 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      extremely so babe extremely so

    • ebi

      October 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      i feel you

  11. surge fix

    October 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    it’s amazing……. Nigeria being the 41st in the world is no big deal. The problem we face in this country has not being proferring solutions but implementing the solutions proferred. so we being ranked 41st in the world shouldn’t come as a surprise. let’s pray the demon ruling the affairs of this country does not entirely put this nation beyond repair.

    • polka

      October 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      Its not 41st in the world.. Its 41st in “Africa”… I can only imagine were we would place if this was a global ranking.. smh

    • Tiki

      October 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      lol, its 41st in Africa, sweetie…and Africa has 53 countries.

      I bet if it was in the world….it’d be much worse.

  12. ima

    October 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    yeepa!!! naija don kpafuka kpata kpata.

  13. Ijoma robert

    October 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    The only thing that matters at this moment is how we can move this country forward. My fellow patrot if you happen to find yourself in a position of authority your duty is to do that which u ought to do by doing so we can make this country better than we found it

  14. Knight

    October 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Am sure someone paid (bribed) for us to make that 41st..

    We should be 55th (even thou only 53 countries were ranked)

  15. BC

    October 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    There is nothing to substantiate this chart or whatever it is.

  16. sexy nerd

    October 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Olubunmi, I do not know where you are right now but some people in Nig know that there are some things that happen here that are better associated with the movies. Nothing shocks me here anymore. About the bitter leaf, when you are in a country that has failed you countless times, you learn to improvise. Believe it or not, some things that are as easy as ABC in other places are as difficult as a camel passing through the eye of a needle in Nigeria. SecondIy, although I would not encourage people to use bitter leaf to stop bleeding, most people in the rural areas still use it and it actually does work. I know because my grand ma used it on a wound on my leg once. Therefore some people still believe in the efficacy. Lastly, i do not think the emphasis here is on the broken bottle on the road, the writer was merely trying to point out the unreliability of our health care providers. Now that is something I believe most people in Nigeria know much about. Little wonder more than half of the population believe more in ‘self medication’

  17. moi!

    October 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I don’t believe that no hospital was open at that time. Maybe it was the hospital he went to. We do have doctors and nurses on night duty in this country. How ever its still sad that we are ranked 41st. Things are really bad here. But not to the point of hospitals closing. There are private hospitals after all.

  18. Eva

    October 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Everyone here will say they are APPALLED or NOT SURPRISED….But as long as we focus on the WRONG things such as FASHION, MUSIC, OR EVENTS (FOR PARTIES AND PLACES TO SHOWCASE YOUR MATERIAL ACQUISITION). I am not saying fashion, music, or events are BAD, but WE DO IT SO MUCH THAT THE IMPORTANT THINGS ARE LEFT NEGLECTED. If you count the number of people featured here on BellaNaija who are trying to effect change versus the number of fashion designers, musicians, makeup artist, wig seller (most of them less than mediocre) the number is very very few. It is because of our LOVE for MONEY that absolutely NOTHING will CHANGE in Nigeria.

    See the number of rape cases (it has been going on but thank God for Internet), kidnapping cases, thievery in every system, education system, healthcare system. ABSOLUTELY nothing works except the ability to carry Chanel purses or Hermes purses, or to wear Christian Louboutin shoes.

    I am shocked Nigeria was not RANKED 54 (53 being the highest number). I say they do the STUDY again. 41 is too KIND.

    • saucetoo

      October 12, 2011 at 4:20 am

      Well said but in fairness to our entertainment industry, it is about the only sector of the economy that is not government controlled. We developed that sector of our economy through collaborative efforts of corporate entities and talented individuals. The influx of Nigerians from the diaspora also contributed immersely to our entertainment industry. All other sector of that economy is still under the control of the old corrupt politicians and if we don’t flush them out, I’m afraid the situation is not going to change anytime soon.

    • Knight

      October 12, 2011 at 9:22 am


  19. cathy

    October 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    chai!!! can’t fit talk o

  20. Obi

    October 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Question1: who presses a cut to bleed out? (paraphrased).
    Answer: someone who believes that instead of allowing the bacteria/germs to go inward, bleeding will wash them out just like water washed dirty feet. Rationale? When you have a cut/needle puncture in the hospital, sometimes you are advised to blood let it a bit (with the AIDS/HIV?Hepatitis issues) while washing under running water. So, your staff was doing something that though he might not have been taught, reasoned it out himself. It’s not an entirely faulty thought process, but he went too far.

    Question 2: why a broken bottle on the street?
    Answer: as you identified, lack of social responsibility. It starts from spitting saliva/gum/food/whatever you have in your mouth on the street, to urinating randomly, then to dropping waste (food wrappers, etc), and of course to things like bottles, and even shot-put (shit for those not in the know).

    But even before all these, it starts from home. When you either come from a dirty home, or a home where your only responsibility is the bathe yourself, dress yourself, eat food prepared for you, and do nothing else but take take take, then it becomes harder for you to give any sort of service no matter how small for the benefit of another. I am not referring to wealthy folks in the above statement. I had a neighbour in Onigbongbo Lagos (think small village within a city) who would always yell at her housemaid from morning till night. Ndioma this, Ndioma that. Ndioma wash the children’s clothes, Ndioma cook, Ndioma sweep the gutter, Ndioma!! Ndioma!! All the while, her children had no responsibilities but eat, play, go to school, yell at Ndioma, and sleep. Before long, you could tell that if the woman did not change direction, her kids would become irresponsible. It is possible to spoil kids even in poverty. The social responsibility you talk about does not start overnight. It begins from home. When you go to public bathrooms what do you see? I like to call it evidence of misuse and not necessarily evidence of government not doing their job. Government is you and I. Government is my mom teaching me from childhood to pick up after myself. It is my dad spanking me for insulting the house help. Government is my parents not coming to the school to harass my teacher for justly correcting me when I do wrong. Power can be abused, but responsibility once learned, is hard to trash. We can look at statistics and miss the point. Numbers are not always facts. Besides, who polled the folks living in remote villages to get their opinions on all these matters supposedly evidenced in numbers/statistics? Nigeria is rotten, but even rotten fruits have seeds that can be planted & can grow into giant trees that benefit all.

    • Lubielu

      October 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      Obi i totally agree with every bit of words you authored out. The adaged goes that say’s CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. Nigerians should open their eyes and do things right in every endeavour to help build this nation up and bring it to some standard.

    • mary007

      October 12, 2011 at 4:46 am

      Like like like

    • 9jamom

      October 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Obi, you couldn’t have said it any better. The Government, while it has a huge part to play, is made up of human beings who at some point where raised to behave the way they do.

      What we learn at home plays a huge part in how we end up behaving in society at large and it’s so easy to blame it all on the leaders without realizing our individual responsibility. How can we make Nigeria better? Start taking personal responsibility for what happens around us and working on the little we have control over; raise your kids to be content with the little or much they have and to give rather than only accumulate… While this might seem like nothing in comparison to the effect a “corrupt society”, change has to come in little drops to create a cumulative effect… – community of 9ja moms who are being the change they want to see…

  21. cali

    October 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm


  22. Hali

    October 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    It always leaves me speechless when people run their mouths. Are we as a nation where we were 10 or 15 years ago? Has nothing improved? All the people you feature on your website, would they have been able to do what they are doing now?

    Nigeria has come a LONG way! if no one can see that, it’s too bad. Also most people who visit this site, myself included are outside the country, therefore we cannot say we are contributing in anyway to the development of Nigeria. All the so called ‘civilized’ nations enjoy these rights because of sacrifices made. What have you done for Nigeria?

  23. NNENNE

    October 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    The importance of leadership in any country cannot be over emphaized but it is also important to note that the led also have a huge role to play,for a country to run efficienty.
    How many people in Nigeria today really, really pay their taxes? I mean pay as they earn? To have good roads, good schools, functioning hospitals, emergency responders,etc, a great deal of money is needed. Where will this money come from? An average Nigerian is quick to point out there we have oil. How much oil for a populations of estimated 150 million people? How many regular Nigerians, have the courage and/or moral obligation to condemn bad leaders when they are related to them?
    My conclusion is that things are messed up in Nigeria.We have no other country except Nigeria.Fixing Nigeria should be everbody’s business…the leaders and the led. Sitting on the fence and complaining is not the answer. For starters, vote with your head and conscience not the politician who gave you most money or who is your brother/sister.

  24. partyrider

    October 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    national security 81? that should be NIL

  25. Lili

    October 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    There is so much for us to do, but where do we start? . Nigeria is such big mess to clean- nationally, spiritually, morally, ethically. But who will do this? Leaders who don’t care? Nigerians in Nigeria who are too docile and are functional illiterates? Expatriates who play along to exploit our weaknesses? Emigrants who are arm-chair critics but have too much at stake in foreign countries anyway? Who REALLY cares about the state of our country, when it comes down to it?

    We should all feel sad and hollow when it comes to Naija but we’ll leave a comment or two and then it will be another day, another dollar.

  26. nich

    October 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    u guys no the problem…fine, but how do you solve it……if and until fashola becomes the president…there is no hope for this nation

  27. Babe

    October 11, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Dear Nich, I beg to disagree with you. I love BRF but I do not believe he is doing a lot especially with the amount of taxes and fees Lagos makes. Nigeria is the way it is because of GREED and CORRUPTION and its not only in the leadership of this country, many Nigerians are greedy and that is why things would never change. Leadership is a mess!!!! A big one at that. I am truly excited for African countries like Ghana and South Africa because they have proved to the world that thongs can work in Africa. I pray and I implore everyone to do their part. Personally, i do not throw thrash on the ground, I would rather leave it in my bag till i can find a place to throw it. Im no saint tho cuz derez still room for improvement. Lets start with our kids like someone mentioned, start with your immediate environment and the change would gradually permeate the nation. Nigeria Can Still be Great, be a part of her actualization of this greatness. GOD BLESS NIGERIA!!!!!

  28. Miss Iwara

    October 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Coming and speaking from a position and an authority of one who knows how theses indexes are drawn and how development surveys are carried out, this index is so flawed, I can tell it was written by either a dumb or member of opposition (whether internally or externally).
    First of all, lets start with the just concluded UN – African business summit, which ended last week, Nigeria is the 5th fastest economy in the world, This index obviously failed to capture that.
    Secondly and this is a question and task for every contributor to this article, who and who and who filled out these surveys, because it is obvious none of us here had a role to play with information gathered. This index failed firstly as it didn’t engage in participatory analysis and assessment, hence i say this is arrant crap.
    Also as much as we try to deny this, the history of bad governance didn’t start last week, last year or in the last 8 years so i expect that as right thinking human beings we would avoid all the bickering and the blame game we enjoy engaging in Nigeria, especially amongst our elites. From all indication, the levels of decay cannot be rotted out in a year because of how interconnected they are. Nepa wahala cannot be dealt with independently without sanitizing the Nigerian Port system, the health sector cannot be reformed in isolation, u need to find a way to fix the education system, and the list goes on. All the government needs and cries for is understanding and patience as the transition to governance takes its normal course.
    South Africa in all his hype is bomb waiting to be detonated. The streets of j’burgh are infested with filth, and the crime rate there would soon be compared to that of mexico. The City of Stellenbosch still practices apartheid and segregation. South African peace is just elusive.
    Whats the story about Ghana and development? when poverty and intra-communal conflicts are plaguing the town. This index failed to include the prospects and already manifesting conflicts of natural resource management, control and distribution. Oil has just been discovered and the place is a already looming in perceived war.
    God Bless Nigeria, and damn the index.

  29. tobi

    October 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    na true talk bomb explosions dey happen too much for this country

  30. Wiklo

    October 12, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Too much GREED and CORRUPTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!we need to get rid of the former ruling class that remain in the present ruling class…how do we do it??…

  31. Lizzy

    October 12, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Wow this is just heartbreaking

  32. [email protected] ideas

    October 12, 2011 at 5:17 am

    congrats on that position. and congrats to Africa also they got 5th thats great.

    • Mary007

      October 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Did you read the article?

  33. @_Iyore

    October 12, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Sad but true. I love South Africa

  34. Ms.Zee

    October 12, 2011 at 8:00 am

    how on earth did we score 81 (even above the average score of 78) #surprisedface#. With all the vilence that surrounded our election, MEND, boko haram, etc, I seriously wonder how we managed that score

  35. olawealth

    October 12, 2011 at 9:48 am

    thank God am partly Ghanaian, and for NIG we need to upgrade….God bless this nation.

  36. David Anyanwu

    October 13, 2011 at 2:59 am

    The ranking system is quite hard to believe. As bad as Nigeria is and could be, it has no business being in the company of Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, Guinea Bisseau etc. I would like to know how the author came about his ranking and more importantly, who is funding this study…

  37. Naijadebit

    June 14, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Good to heard this

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