Nigeria, S’Africa, Ghana poorest in anti-graft war – Report

Nigeria is the sixth African country doing badly in fighting corruption, according to a report by the global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International.

Top on the list of African countries whose citizens say their governments are performing badly in anti-corruption fight are Madagascar, 90 per cent; Liberia, 81; Zimbabwe, 80; Benin, 79; South Africa, 79; and Nigeria, 78.

In terms of how citizens think corruption has changed in the last one year, TI’s AfroBarometer rated Nigeria as one of the three worst performers on the continent, where the highest number of respondents believe that corruption has increased.

The countries are South Africa, 83 per cent; Ghana, 76; and Nigeria, 75.

Best performers in this category are Burkina Faso, 28 per cent; Mali, 31; and Cote D’Ivoire, 32.

According to TI, Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa.

In the report titled, ‘People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015’; which was released on Tuesday, TI estimates that 75 million Africans paid bribes in the past year.

On the continental level, 22 per cent of Africans believe corruption has decreased; 14 per cent think corruption has stayed on the same level; while 58 per cent think corruption has increased.

Most corrupt institutions and groups on the continent, according to the report, are police (47 per cent); business executives (42); government officials (38); tax officials (37); judges and magistrates (34); members of parliament (33); and local government councillors (33).

Others are office of the President (31 per cent); traditional leaders (21); and religious leaders (15).

“A majority of Africans say corruption has risen in the past 12 months and most governments are seen as failing in their duty to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals,” the new opinion poll by TI said.

TI explained that for the latest African edition of the Global Corruption Barometer, it partnered the Afrobarometer, which spoke to 43,143 respondents across 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa between March 2014 and September 2015 to ask them about their experiences and perception of corruption in their countries.

It said, “Shockingly, we estimate that nearly 75 million people have paid a bribe in the past year – some of these to escape punishment by the police or courts, but many were also forced to pay to get access to the basic services that they desperately need.

“A majority of Africans perceive corruption to be on the rise and think that their government is failing in its efforts to fight corruption; and many also feel disempowered as regards taking action against corruption.

“In Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia and Ghana, citizens are the most negative about the scale of corruption in their country.”

According to the report, the risk of paying a bribe varies “tremendously” by country.

TI added, “Liberia has by far the highest rate of bribery of the countries that were surveyed, with 69 per cent of people, who came into contact with at least one of these six services, having paid a bribe in the past year. This is followed by Cameroon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone which were found to have high bribery rates of between 41 and 48 per cent.

“Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya and Uganda also have bribery rates that are far higher than the regional average. Botswana, Mauritius and Cape Verde have the lowest bribery rates in the region, being on a par with low bribery rate countries on other continents (such as in Europe or the USA). Lesotho, Senegal, Swaziland, Namibia and South Africa also have bribery rates that are far lower than the average for the region with less than one-in-10 saying that they paid a bribe.”



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