Despite the federal government’s well publicized war against corruption, the 2022 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), released by Transparency International (TI) yesterday, placed Nigeria as the 26th most corrupt country in the world.
The statistics also indicated that the nation has made no improvement in transparency and accountability as it scored 24 out of 100 points in the 2022 rating, the same figure recorded in 2021.
The CPI is TI’s tool for measuring the levels of corruption in the systems of various countries around the world. The maximum points a country can score is 100 points, and the least is zero. Zero signifies the worst performing countries and 100, the best-ranked.
Although the global corruption rating body concludes the report by stating that 95% of countries have made little to no progress fighting corruption since 2017, it is particularly worrisome in Nigeria where one of the mantras of the current administration is anti-corruption.
The CPI aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions of businesspeople and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector.
In 2021, Nigeria recorded a second consecutive year of a downward spiral on the TI’s CPI ranking, the country’s score dropped from 26 in 2019 to 25 in the 2020 assessment, and further to 24 in the latest 2021 and 2022 records.
CPI has been one of the data that President Muhammadu Buhari and his party the All Progressives Congress (APC) relied on to push its anti-corruption agenda against former governments of opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during campaigns of his first election in 2014.
In the 21st edition of the index ranks 180 countries, published yesterday, Somalia is rated the world’s most corrupt nation with 12 points out of 100, while South Sudan and Syria followed closely with 13 points.
For nations with clean bill of health, Denmark, which had the highest score (92) in 2021, retained the top spot with 90 points in 2022, followed by Finland and New Zealand with 87 points.
Ten countries, including Austria (71), Canada (74), Luxembourg (77), and Pakistan (27) have had significant score declines since 2017, and 26 countries — including the United Kingdom (73) and Qatar (54) — hit historic lows.
Meanwhile, for the 11th year in a row, the CPI global average remains unchanged at 43.
In its accompanying report, Transparent International noted the link between corruption and violence, and cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “stark reminder” of the threat that corruption and lack of government accountability pose to global security. Russia’s score this year is 28.
Countries scoring lowest on the CPI also score low on the Global Peace Index, the report found: “Global peace is deteriorating, and corruption is both a key cause and result of this.”