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Corruption in Nigeria

When ranked by score, Nigeria ranked 150th among the 180 countries in the Index, where the country ranked last is perceived to have the most corrupt public sector. For comparison, the best score was 90 (ranked 1), the worst score was 12 (ranked 180), and the average score was 43.

Nigeria is still suffering from widespread corruption, despite government promises to crack down. Uche Igwe writes about how this is affecting Nigerians ahead of the upcoming presidential elections.


Out of all Nigerian citizens who had at least one contact with a public official in the 12 months prior to the
2019 survey, 30.2 per cent paid a bribe to, or were asked to pay a bribe by, a public official. This means
that, although still relatively high, the prevalence of bribery in Nigeria has undergone a moderate, yet
statistically significant, decrease since 2016, when it stood at 32.3 per cent.

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Photo by cottonbro studio on

Corruption is certainly not a new phenomenon in Nigeria. Rather, it has long been an intrinsic element of Nigerian society affecting virtually all spheres of the West African country.

In 2021, Nigeria ranked 154th out of 180 countries listed in Transparency International’s Corruption Index.

Akpata stated that “the results of the study show that corruption in Nigeria could cost up to 37% of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) by 2030 if it’s not dealt with immediately. This cost is equated to around $1,000 per person in 2014 and nearly $2,000 per person by 2030. The boost in average income that we estimate, given the current per capita income, can significantly improve the lives of many in Nigeria”.

“Corruption in Nigeria has worsened despite the government’s effort to fight fraud and bribery. In 2021, Nigeria was the 26th most corrupt country out of 180 countries. Millions of Naira allocated for rural development are stolen and misused by corrupt officials under the guise of executing public services.”

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