Corruption in Nigeria
Corruption in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Corruption Perception In 2024

13 mins read

For Nigeria, MTN’s advertisement payoff line of “everywhere you go is MTN” cannot be truer. One won’t run the risk of blasphemy to hold the position that, “in Nigeria everywhere you go is corruption.”

It’s indeed indisputable as corruption “walks on all fours.” It is so bad for the country that even when you are outside the country, your host is already wary, because in his consciousness ‘this is a Nigerian’. It is apparent that we are a people in whom is ingrained the factors that make it difficult for nation building.

However, from the array of presidential candidates for the 2023 election, there is a huge hope that if we vote with a clear conscience come 2024 Nigeria would have a glittering aura before the international community. Nigerians would be proud of themselves again.

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Corruption with its burden has been with us since nationhood. Whereas some writers have located corruption in the misadventure of the military in governance, there is evidence that the First Republic manifestly was challenged by the burden of corruption. Consequently, the incursion of the military into political power had as one of its justifications the malfeasance in public office. The 1966 coup plotters had identified them as the “10 percenters”, a reference to the gratuitous level corruption had eaten at the time as percentage kickback was necessarily tied to contracts, etc. Unfortunately, subsequent events in the polity and the military’s inability to show selflessness in government service only exacerbated the problem. And what we have today is not governance but Corruptance”, an endemic system characterised by  “transactional governance”.

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It is public knowledge that Transparency International’s annual reports on corruption in Government has always indicted Nigeria. This indictment is always found in the rung Nigeria occupies in each of the reports. The report for December 2022 for instance,  shows Nigeria score 24 points in the Corruption Perception Index, showing Nigeria’s corruption ranking in its public service among the comity of nations. Nigeria was also placed on 150 out of 180 countries. It was even scandalous that Nigeria was caught in the same category with certain countries that it has no business being compared with, such as war ravaged and poor countries.

However, it is interesting to note that corruption and impunity go hand-in-hand. Corruption festers in a country where impunity is the rule. In the absence of rule of law which should serve as a moral compass, impunity which is the “rule of the jungle” is the order. It’s a scenario of everyone for himself, where might is right; you deploy your strength to take what an opportunity presents you with. There is no justice in the society. Whereas the political system lacks the will to apply the law, the legal system is itself enmeshed in corruption and consequently lacks the moral strength to pronounce justice.

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Corruption with impunity kills a nation. When a nation is so buffeted, there is no miracle that will bring about development. Corruption has become a second nature such that it has taken a brazen affront upon the nation. Citizens become unimaginative as their leaders; hardworking fails to pay; everyone becomes cheap in conscience. Consequently,  everywhere you go is corruption.

In 2015 general election, the APC government rode on the excuse of “fighting corruption” among other cardinal aims. Eight years down the line it is known to even an infant that the reverse is the achievement as “corruption has fought and dealt with the government “. It is such a bizarre result.

All hope is not lost for Nigeria as one of the Presidential candidates is in a distinct class. Whereas some key aspirants are seen as corruption personified, Mr. Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra State who is the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has a very intimidating, clean record in public service. He is the most searched for corruption related matters but none could be found. He has  challenged everyone to expose him and would step down from the presidential race. He has unconventionally widely published his stewardship as governor for eight years and as a private businessman. He saved and left ₦75b in the coffers of his state during handover, out of which his immediate predecessor built an airport for the state. He was given choice land allocation but he rejected it.

He refused to patronise a certain clergyman who got so angry that he started blackmailing him and ended up nicknaming him “stingy”. But the nickname ended up giving more global accolades and popularity.

For him, if you do not resist little instances of encouraging corruption as in the case of the clergyman who preferred cash gift to choice of project to execute then corruption would fester. Corruption is given a knockout when you begin by refusing to give approval to little wrongs. By the time a people fail to entrench a “disposition not to be bought by cash” the country is doomed. Today, it is not hidden from the blind that as you find yourself in a bus, taxi, home, corporation, civil service, checkpoint, trafficpoint, airport terminal, seaport terminal, etc, Nigerians are neck deep in corrupt practices.

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The consequences of corruption especially in public service include increase in costs, prices and poorly executed services.

Corruption is further seen in the pervasive moral inadequacies in the behaviour patterns of the people. It is such a scandal that those who have not found themselves in the corridors of government business have taken to ritual killings to make money. You also have the kidnapping business.

The other one is the yahoo and yahoo plus. The yahoo or yahoo plus is a seeming refinement of the fraudulent act of cheating somebody and taking his money popularly known as 419 which derives from a legal provisions under which such crime used to be treated.

Today, as the nation has been boxed into a suffocating position by incidences of corruption the 2023 Presidential election would seem to provide a Tabula rasa for a grand plan to break away from the sordid entanglement of corruption. This new beginning should be seen in voting massively for Mr. Peter Obi to become the president. There is no doubt that if he becomes president in May 2023, Nigeria’s corruption perception report by Transparency International in 2024 will be a visible, sharp break from the past up to December 2022.

The reason is that Mr. Peter Obi does not indulge in corruption. A man who is not found within the presincts of corruption cesspit cannot allow corruption in the country. He fought the Anambra legislature and defeated it. He  was impeached. He was restored. The story is very interesting. He didn’t create a law of “inheritance and pension” for the governor of Anambra. He didn’t allow his family come close to government business. He  does not steal government money and property and won’t encourage anyone to do so. He respects the law and gives everybody his due respect. He is very humane. He cherishes the poor and the weak. He goes to where people are suffering to share their pain. He teaches his family to respect and observe the moral codes. He preaches and enthrones decency.

The world is breathlessly waiting for Nigerian’s to do the right thing by voting a man with the moral gust of Mr. Peter Obi. He is so exceptional that he had the eyes to locate and choose a deputy who has an equal moral certification as he. His deputy is an experienced and corruption free legislator, a seasoned private business expert.

It’s just a matter of voting in the duo of Peter Obi and Ahmed Datti and Nigeria will be opened to global grace and global goodwill the country has never witnessed before. The nation will be healed and put on the moral ground to pursue growth and development in real sense. President Peter Obi and Vice President Ahmed Datti come with very wealthy experiences in wealth creation and public service performance.  They are excellent human resource managers.

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They did not rise to wealth by corruption; non is traceable to them. They also have experience in legislature management. The Vice President was a Senator of repute. The President, a former governor for eight years thought the legislature on how to manage state funds for development purposes.

In 2024, Nigeria will definitely be out of the radar of Transparency International because Mr. Peter Obi would have cleansed the nation, healed and weaned it of every form of corruption. He is a man versed in the application of the rule of law. He will make the Central Government unattractive such that no greedy politician will want to return to the centre. A man who rejected all the opportunities to enrich himself as governor is the Man for The Job at the centre. He rejected proposal for annual percentage sharing of the budget with the House of Assembly; he rejected a prize reward  for being the Best Governor who implemented the Global MDG policy; he rejected oil well offer which continues to be a temptation to most politicians; he rejected a ₦500m annual housing and furniture allowance as the Chairman, Nigerian Security and Exchange Commission; refused the pressure to setup and allocate millions of naira to the office of First Lady(he doesn’t allow his immediate family come close to government); he doesn’t encourage wastages in government in any form.

Mr. Peter Obi will redirect Nigeria and by 2024 Transparency International will testify through its report. For Nigeria, by 2024 it will never again be “everywhere you go is corruption.”

Ifeanyi Ibe is a Media Consultant and can be reached on 08038945092/


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Ifeanyi Ibe
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