The global corruption watchdog, Transparency International released its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index today, ranking Nigeria as the 35th most corrupt country in the world.
In a report released at 6 a.m. on Wednesday December 5th 2012, Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to clinch the 139th position out of the 176 countries surveyed for the report. It shared that position with Azerbaijan, Kenya, Nepal and Pakistan. Countries such as Togo, Mali, Niger and Benin fared better than Nigeria.
In the 2011 ranking, Nigeria placed 143rd position making it the 37th most corrupt country. However, this year, the number of countries ranked were six less than that of 2011 making it difficult to say if Nigeria has improved in the ranking or not.
Transparency International explained in the report that this year’s index ranks 176 countries/territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The index draws on 13 surveys covering expert assessments and surveys of businesspeople.
On the top of the list as the least corrupt countries are Denmark, Finland and New Zealand in the first place with scores of 90. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia once again cling to the bottom rung of the index.
Nigeria’s woeful performance in this year’s survey is not entirely surprising and is premised on several occurrences.
Despite his promise of spearheading the fight against corruption, President Goodluck Jonathan since assuming office in 2010 has not shown vigour in that area. According to Premium Times, in a televised media chat in June, he scoffed at a question on why he had not publicly declared his asset snapping on live television, “I don’t give a damn!”
The petroleum minister, Diezani Madueke, a close ally of the president, has heaps of established corruption allegations against her, but none has been investigated by Jonathan’s administration; while she still remains in office as one of the favorite ministers.
There have been several cases of visitors to the Presidential Villa offered huge sums of money after their visits. The Save Nigeria Group was offered $30 thousand, and the Northern elders N20 million; both groups rejected the cash gifts given to them by the presidency.
There are also piles of corruption cases involving government officials, politicians and ‘friends of the government’ that have been lingering for years while perpetrators roam free.
Transparency International in its report warned governments saying they should hear the global outcry against corruption “Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all aspects of decision-making. They must prioritise better rules on lobbying and political financing, make public spending and contracting more transparent, and make public bodies more accountable.”
This report has once again brought about a debate as some Nigerians don’t agree with the ranking. What do you think of the report? Do you agree that Nigeria is the 35th most corrupt country in the world?