Is Nigeria’s fight against corruption working or it is just mere rhetoric that the ruling party is playing as a tune to scare people from eating from the cookies’ jar with impunity?  

Before you begin to hear from the high places that the few steps movement up are signs of improvement, you should know the truth. 

A Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report has been released by the Transparency International and it is something that casts aspersion on the entire ‘catch him and keep him in jail’ thing and, may be, magnified the complaints of lop-sidedness that have characterised the anti-corruption war.

Sambo Dasuki has gone to court several times without making headway and he is now tired and unwilling to go any more while the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje is tangoing away with dollars in his 'agbada' that many Nigerians saw in a video, but the President has refused to believe that video or even direct that he should be investigated by the anti-graft agency.

Let us not revisit these stories but focus on the CPI of Transparency International that speaks a lot about the effort of the government to end corruption in Nigeria.

While Seychelles leads in Africa, the ‘GIANT’ of Africa is at number 144, rubbing shoulders with Comoros (Sub-Saharan Africa), Guatemala in Americas, Kenya (Sub-Saharan Africa) and Mauritania (Sub-Saharan Africa).

Nigeria scored 27% along with these other nations in the 2018 CPI. It was the same score Nigeria got in 2017.

With the score, however, the nation moved from 148, the position it occupied in 2017, to 144 in 2018.

This movement is, however, insignificant because of the score Nigeria maintained in two years.

The movement in number was because some countries that were ahead of Nigeria performed badly and we know this is not Premier League where teams battle and pray that others ahead of them should drop points.

Countries like Bangladesh, Madagascar, Guatemala and Kanya had dropped from the positions they occupied in 2017, resulting in Nigeria’s upward movement in number and not in score.

Had Nigeria scored something different from 27%, it would have been a significant movement, but 'will a man whose son consistently scores 27% in the same examination jubilate because the children of other men dropped in score and his child moved from 148th position to 144th"?

Will you congratulate the child if he or she was yours? In fact you should be asking questions about why he or she is not moving forward. 

Why Did Nigeria Perform Poorly?

The nation scored below the average score of 43% and this is failure when we speak in the language of a classroom of learning. May be and just may be, we have not learnt anything in two years.

In Nigeria, the public sector is the home of corrupt persons and the nation could not have done any better after a video of Governor Ganduje appeared months ago without any drastic measure taken against him.

Even now, the nations is embroiled in cases of alleged flouting of the law by a Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and that of a President that has been accused of usurping the powers of the Senate in suspending the CJN.

According to Transparency International, the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories.

Drawing on 13 surveys of business people and expert assessments, the index scores on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

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Denmark led the pack, scoring 88% while the first African, Seychelles, with 66%  was at number 28 with. 

“The results paint a sadly familiar picture: more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, while the average score is just 43.

“Perhaps most disturbing is that the vast majority of countries assessed have made little to no progress.

“Only 20 have made significant progress in recent years. As long as corruption continues to go largely unchecked, democracy is under threat around the world” the report read.  

Despite moving up, Nigeria still retained its score and ranked number 33 among Africa’s Sub-Saharan nations.

One thing, however, pointed out in the report that Nigeria is also swimming in is poor democratic ideals.

Recently, there have been statements from people who sleep with the laws (lawyers) of the land and past leaders about the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari allegedly destroying the nation’s democratic ideals.

The Transparency International pointed out that its “research makes a clear link between having a healthy democracy and successfully fighting public sector corruption.

“Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians capture democratic institutions and use them to their advantage”.

The organisation also knows that Nigeria had anti-corruption war going on, but it emphasised that nothing tangible had shown from it.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest scoring region on the index, and has failed to translate its anti-corruption commitments into any real progress.

“A region with stark political and socio-economic contrasts and longstanding challenges, many of its countries struggle with ineffective institutions and weak democratic values, which threaten anticorruption efforts,” the report further read.

“Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption,” said Patricia Moreira, managing director of Transparency International.

This report is a clarion call for Nigeria and its people to sit up and do the needful if there will be an end to this monster that has consistently belittled this ‘GIANT’ populous nation that people have said eats and acts like an ant.

If you enjoyed reading this analysis, and our other stories, please, share with friends and loved ones to see how far we have done in our fight against corruption.

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