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The Nigeria Corruption Index: No Longer a Perception

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

It has been reported in the Nigerian press that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offices Commission (ICPC) is posed to establish a Nigeria Corruption Index.

The ICPC Chairman Professor Bolaji Owasonoye said ‘given the situation whereby the surveys on which much of the corruption rating of the country are based on externally designed parameters, the surveyors may not ask the right questions or go to the right places to get the right answers.’

He said ‘there was the need to domesticate the processes in order to capture more realistic perspective of the challenge of corruption in Nigeria.’

In developing national anti-corruption strategy one of the first things that must be done is collect all available information to assess what the key risks are, this is something that is missed in the development of many anti-fraud and anti-corruption strategies.

There will be significant data that is already held nationally in the various sectors and within government organisations, not just within law enforcement crime and intelligence databases. It is not uncommon for an organisations various departments or Ministries not to communicate or share data with each other. Once available, there will be a greater opportunity to assess and analyse data and shine a light on the risk areas that had previously not been assessed.

To fully profile such risks, you would want to collect data from the public sector, private sector, NGO and members of the public. The next challenge will be how to coordinate the collection and analysis of this data.

Once this data is centrally collected, only then can a targeted anti-corruption strategy be introduced to focus on high risk areas and analyse and define the root cause. If done correctly this could be the start of a change from a perception index to a known risk index where the risk areas and sectors could be mapped.

With this information, if made public, Governments would be able to target key areas, business would understand where high risk areas and sectors are and be able to take positive mitigation and investors would be able to make a more determined assessment of when to invest or move new business into a country.


As part of its research programme, ACE Global Integrity outlined the effectiveness of the anti-corruption law enforcement efforts and the new, more pragmatic solutions and action that is being taken including the use of plea bargains, asset forfeiture and well as probationary and non-custodial sentences. However, with these positive steps there is still much to do and several recommendations are made by the research programme that would have a significant impact on the countries anti-corruption efforts.

Researchers also acknowledged that a strong narrative surrounding anti-corruption law enforcement can be positively influenced.

A strong communication strategy highlighting the positive message of national efforts is essential when driving the momentum of anti-corruption efforts.

It is well published that an impact on anti-corruption can have a positive effect on a countries GDP. A number of positive steps have already been taken in Nigeria, Let's hope that this positive momentum in anti-corruption will accelerate.


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