Nigeria ranks 35th most corrupt country

Global corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), has ranked Nigeria the 35th most corrupt country in the world.

In a report released yesterday, 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, while Togo, Mali, Niger and Benin fared better.

TI’s Corruption Perception Index 2011 had ranked Nigeria 143th of 183 countries, making it the 37th most corrupt country.

This year’s index ranks 176 countries/territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, TI explained in the report. The index draws on 13 surveys covering expert assessments and surveys of business people.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is the leading indicator of public sector corruption, offering a yearly snapshot of the relative degree of the corruption problem by ranking countries from all over the globe.

Two-thirds of the 176 countries ranked scored below 50, on a scale from zero (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), showing that public institutions need to be more transparent, and powerful officials more accountable.

Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 90, helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions.

Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia once again placed last. In these countries, lack of accountable leadership and effective public institutions underscore the need to take a much stronger stance against corruption.

Underperformers also included the Eurozone countries most affected by the financial and economic crisis. TI has consistently warned Europe to address corruption risks in the public sector to tackle the financial crisis, calling for strengthened efforts to corruption-proof public institutions.

TI described this year’s Coreport as an indication that “corruption is a major threat facing humanity. Corruption destroys lives and communities, and undermines countries and institutions. It generates popular anger that threatens to further destabilise societies and exacerbate violent conflicts.”

It added: “Corruption is the world’s most talked about problem. The world’s leading economies should lead by example, making sure that their institutions are fully transparent and their leaders are held accountable. This is crucial since their institutions play a significant role in preventing corruption from flourishing globally.

“A growing outcry over corrupt governments forced several leaders from office last year, but as the dust has cleared it has become apparent that the levels of bribery, abuse of power and secret dealings are still very high in many countries.”