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Nigeria’s name missing among countries fighting corruption

Posted by By SEUN ADESIDA on 2006/09/28 | Views: 371 |

Nigeria’s name missing among countries fighting corruption


Despite the loud ovation that greeted the presentation of Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, at the World Bank/ IMF spring meeting in Singapore, Nigeria’s name is conspicuously missing on the list of countries which have made progress in improving governance and curbing corruption.

Despite the loud ovation that greeted the presentation of Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, at the World Bank/ IMF spring meeting in Singapore, Nigeria’s name is conspicuously missing on the list of countries which have made progress in improving governance and curbing corruption.

According to a new report, Governance Matters 2006: Worldwide Governance Indicators, released by the World Bank after the meetings, only African nations, such as Botswana, Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Liberia, are making progress in improving governance and curbing corruption.
Co-author and director of Global Governance at the World Bank Institute, Daniel Kaufmann, said the findings dispel a number of myths. One myth, he said, was about Africa.

"The indicators challenged Afro-pessimism and by looking at the data, on average, Africa has enormous challenges. But it’s a mistake just to look at the averages," he said, adding:
"Our report is very frank in suggesting that Africa, on average, faces enormous governance challenges. Many countries are not doing well in terms of governance and in terms of controlling corruption. But there are shining stars, which have been doing well and increasingly better over the past decade. And it shows in the case of Ghana, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Senegal and others."

The second myth dispelled by the research is that strong performance on governance and curbing graft are the preserve of the wealthy developed nations. The research, covering well over 200 countries, also showed that more than 12 non-OECD countries, including Botswana and Estonia, scored higher in the rule of law and in control of corruption than some industrialized countries, like Greece and Italy. It showed that democratic accountability and clean government most often go hand in hand.
"We find in the evidence that countries that have a freer press also have more transparent government and more effective government and more control of corruption," says Kaufmann, who wrote the report with Aart Kraay and Massimo Mastruzzi.

The research cited Chile, Portugal and Canada as nations with vibrant democracies and little corruption. It’s in contrast to countries with what the report calls "voice and accountability challenges, such as China and the Russian Federation, who tend to have more corruption."
It said, however, that there are exceptions to the link between the extent of voice and democratic accountability a country exhibits and its success in controlling corruption.

Singapore, for example, is cited as having one of the best rankings in the world, on control of corruption, but it ranks in the middle of the pack on vice and accountability – below much poorer countries, such as Brazil and Botswana.
The research is based on responses from over 120,000 citizens, enterprises and experts worldwide, provided by 25 different organisations worldwide. These, in turn, are used to construct the worldwide governance indicators through a state-of-the-art methodology.

Overall, it paints a sobering picture of global trends in governance. The report suggests that over the past decade there is little evidence of a significant improvement, on average, among industrialized and developing countries. However, it pointed out that in many specific countries, there have been significant improvements.
Kaufmann says even if these improvements are not universal, the minority of countries, where improvements are already evident, do suggest that where there is leadership and reform, governance and corruption control can improve significantly in a relatively short period of time.

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