Global anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), has again ranked Nigeria low in its 2017 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released on Wednesday.
The latest ranking has Nigeria in the 148th position out of 180. The country, according to the CPI, scored 28 out 100, a figure lower than the average in the Sub-Sharan region.
CPI score relates to perceptions of the degree of corruption as experienced by business people and analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).
Nigeria’s latest placement indicates that the country has not made progress in its fight against graft, despite claims by the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency that it is making a headway. In the 2016 rankings, Nigeria scored 28. In 2015, it scored 26. The year before that, it scored 25. In 2014, the country scored 27 and 25 in 2013.
In 2012, the country’s score was 27 out of 100. According to TI, higher levels of corruption are common in countries where there is media and civil society repression.
It explained that majority of countries are moving too slowly in their anti-corruption efforts, saying that many countries have made little to no progress in the last six years.
“Even more alarming, further analysis of the index results indicates that countries with the lowest protections for press and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also tend to have the worst rates of corruption,” said TI in a statement.
This latest CPI, said TI,found that more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50, with an average score of 43.
“Over the last six years, several countries significantly improved their CPI score, including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and the United Kingdom, while several countries declined, including Syria, Yemen and Australia.
This year, New Zealand and Denmark rank highest with scores of 89 and 88 respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively.
Western Europe was ranked the best performing region with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34).TI stated that almost all journalists killed since 2012 were killed in corrupt countries.
“No activist or reporter should have to fear for their lives when speaking out against corruption. Given current crackdowns on both civil society and the media worldwide, we need to do more to protect those who speak up,” said Patricia Moreira, TI’s Managing Director.
TI’s analysis, which used data from the Committee to Protect Journalists, indicated that over the last six years, more than nine out of 10 journalists were killed in countries that scored 45 or less on the CPI. This, said TI, implies that at least a journalist is killed every week in a country that is highly corrupt. It added that an average of one in five journalists that died was covering a story about corruption and majority of the victims never get justice.