President Muhammadu Buhari
Buhari

 

Nigeria has dropped to 149 on Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index, scoring 25 out of a possible 100 points, to attain its worst ranking in recent time.

The country in 2019 ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed, scoring 26 points out of a possible 100. On a scale of zero to 100 in TI’s rating, zero means “Highly Corrupt,” while 100 stands for “Very Clean”.

This means that Nigeria is two steps worse off than she was in 2018 when she scored 27 points to place 144th out of 180 countries. The summation is simply that corruption in the country has worsened.

According to the latest ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the sub-region.

In Africa, only 12 countries are perceived to be more corrupt than Nigeria. They are Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Guinea Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan. Both Somalia and South Sudan were ranked as the most corrupt nations on earth.

The least corrupt countries in the world are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Sweden Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg.

The United Kingdom, Canada and Hong Kong were all ranked at 11 while the United States received one of its lowest ever rankings at 25.

Transparency International said the interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic gave room for corruption to thrive in countries with weak systems.

It said even countries like The Netherlands which are highly ranked as upright, failed to reveal details of contracts awarded to persons supplying COVID-19 equipment.

TI said former American President, Donald Trump, failed to properly oversight COVID-19 spending.

The report read, “Finally, the unique challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have tested high-scoring countries’ commitment to transparency and integrity in their own public sectors as never before.

“When the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project created a database of how public money was spent on Personal Protective Equipment at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in several countries they found a black box. Belgium (76/100), Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway did not publish details of contracts awarded, even withholding information on prices and the names of companies in some cases.

“In the US, the previous administration’s challenges to oversight of the unprecedented COVID-19 relief package raised serious anti-corruption concerns and marked a significant retreat from longstanding democratic norms promoting accountable government.

“Now, as we look hopefully ahead to 2021 as a year of widespread vaccinations and treatments, it is vital that there is transparency and accountability in how governments, especially in wealthy nations, acquire and distribute life-saving resources.”