Nigeria’s 2014 Corruption Perception Index Improves

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José Ugaz

Transparency International 2014 Corruption Perception Index has ranked Nigeria 39 among the most corruption nation in the world, showing that the country improved from its ranking in 2013  

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Dec. 15, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT  |

NIGERIANS are not particularly impressed with the current rating of Transparency International which ranked the country as the 39 most corrupt nations in the world. Transparency International released its Corruption Perception Index 2014 on Wednesday, December 3, scoring Nigeria 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to place it in the 136 position out of the 175 countries surveyed for the report. The latest ranking showed that Nigeria improved by eight points against its 2013 rating of 144 of 175 countries. It should be recalled that the Germany-based non-governmental organisation ranked Nigeria 25 most corrupt nation in the world in 2013.

Monday Ubani, former chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ikeja branch, captured the feelings of some Nigerians when he told Realnews that nothing has changed even with the latest rating. “I think that there are more corruptions now than last year. We are not yet out of the woods. Nigeria has been a corrupt nation and I don’t think that Nigerians will totally agree with the rating because corruption is manifesting everywhere. There is no sector in Nigeria’s public life that is spared. All I have to say is that Nigerians are not impressed with this their rating,” Ubani said.

Nigeria’s position notwithstanding, Botswana is the least corrupt nation in Africa, ranking 31 least corrupt globally while South Africa is ranked 67.

A statement from Transparency International said that more than two thirds of the 175 countries in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). According to the report, a country or territory’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories in the index. It said that poorly equipped schools, counterfeit medicine and elections decided by money were some of the consequences of public sector corruption. Bribes and backroom deals don’t just steal resources from the most vulnerable they undermine justice and economic development, and destroy public trust in government and leaders. Based on expert opinion from around the world, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide, and it paints an alarming picture.

Transparency International called on countries at the top of the index where public sector corruption is limited to stop encouraging it elsewhere by doing more to prevent money laundering and to stop secret companies from masking corruption. Denmark is the least corrupt nation in the world, ranking first out of the 175 countries surveyed while North Korea and Somalia are the most corrupt nations of the world. The Transparency International said while top performer, Denmark, had strong rule of law, support for civil society and clear rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions, it also set an example by announcing plans to create a public register, such as beneficial ownership information for all companies incorporated in Denmark.

This measure, according to the corruption watchdog, will make it harder for the corrupt to hide behind companies registered in another person’s name.

José Ugaz, the chairman, Transparency International, said the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index has showed that economic growth is undermined and efforts to stop corruption fade when leaders and high level officials abuse power to appropriate public funds for personal gain. “Corrupt officials smuggle ill-gotten assets into safe havens through offshore companies with absolute impunity. Countries at the bottom need to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people. Countries at the top of the index should make sure they don’t export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries. Grand corruption in big economies not only blocks basic human rights for the poorest but also creates governance problems and instability. Fast-growing economies whose governments refuse to be transparent and tolerate corruption, create a culture of impunity in which corruption thrives,” he said.

According to Ugaz, countries at the top of the index should make sure they do not export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries. “The biggest falls were in Turkey, Angola, China, Malawi and Rwanda. The biggest improvers were Côte d´Ivoire, Egypt, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Afghanistan, Jordan, Mali and Swaziland.”

The anti-corruption group said it was currently running a campaign to unmask the corrupt nations and urged the European Union, the United States and G20 countries to follow Denmark’s lead and create public registers that would make clear who really controls, or is the beneficial owner, of every company.

Irrespective of the reduction in corruption by the Transparency International, many Nigerians are of the view that the rating does not reflect the realities on ground in the country.

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