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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Nigerians score Jonathan low on anti-corruption-Transparency International

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The report showed that corruption was a major issue globally.
Despite the claims by the federal government that the Jonathan administration is waging a committed fight against corruption, majority of Nigerians say the government is merely paying lip service to the effort to stamp out corruption, a survey by Transparency International has shown.
The result of the survey, tagged ‘Global Corruption Barometer 2013′, said to be the biggest-ever public opinion survey on corruption, released on Monday, showed 75 per cent of Nigerians say the government’s effort at fighting corruption is ineffective.
Only 14 per cent of those surveyed say the government’s effort is achieving results.
Also, 94 per cent of Nigerians think corruption is a problem with 78 per cent saying it is a serious problem.
Police and Political parties
The report also showed that most Nigerians believe political parties and the police are the most corrupt institutions in the country. About 94 per cent say political parties are affected by corruption while 92 per cent say the police is tainted with corruption.
Other institutions that performed abysmally in the survey are the legislature with 77 per cent corruption perception, the civil service with 69 per cent, the judiciary with 66 per cent and the education system with 54 per cent.
The military has 45 per cent corruption rating. Medical and health services are tied with businesses, with 41 per cent corruption perception, while the media and non-governmental organisations have a perception rate of 33 and 32 per cent respectively.
According to Nigerians, the least corrupt institutions are religious bodies with 24 per cent perception.
Over the past two years, 85 per cent of Nigerians think corruption has increased (75 per cent say it has increased a lot), 7 per cent says it has remained the same while 9 per cent says it has decreased (only 1 per cent says it has decreased a lot).
Over the past 12 months, the report says, 81 per cent of Nigerians say they have given a bribe to the police, 30 per cent of those surveyed say they have paid a bribe for education services, 29 per cent have given a bribe to the registry and permit services, same for utilities, and 24 per cent have given a bribe to the judiciary.
The survey shows that 22 per cent of Nigerians have paid a bribe to tax revenue, 17 per cent to land services, and 9 per cent has paid a bribe for medical and health services.
Transparency International had last year rated Nigeria as the 35th most corrupt country in the world.
Global indices
Globally, more than one person in two thinks corruption has worsened in the last two years, the survey shows.
However, the survey participants also firmly believe they can make a difference and have the will to take action against graft,
The Global Corruption Barometer is a survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries; and it shows that corruption is widespread and not only in Nigeria or developing countries.
Some 27 per cent of respondents have paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last 12 months, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.
Still, nearly nine out of 10 people surveyed said they would act against corruption and two-thirds of those who were asked to pay a bribe had refused, suggesting that governments, civil society, and the business sector need to do more to engage people in thwarting corruption.
“Bribe paying levels remain very high worldwide, but people believe they have the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant,” said Transparency International chair, Huguette Labelle.
The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 also found that in too many countries, the institutions people rely on to fight corruption and other crime are themselves not trusted.
Some 36 countries view police as the most corrupt, and in those countries an average of 53 per cent of people had been asked to pay a bribe to the police.
Opinion poll in 20 countries view the judiciary as the most corrupt, and in those countries, an average of 30 per cent of the people who had come in contact with the judicial systems had been asked to pay a bribe.
“Governments need to take this cry against corruption from their citizenry seriously and respond with concrete action to elevate transparency and accountability,” Labelle said.
“Strong leadership is needed from the G20 governments in particular.
“In the 17 countries surveyed in the G20, 59 per cent of respondents said their government is not doing a good job at fighting corruption.”
TI said politicians themselves have much to do to regain trust.
The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 shows a crisis of trust in politics and real concern about the capacity of those institutions responsible for bringing criminals to justice.
In 51 countries around the world including Nigeria, political parties are seen as the most corrupt institution, while 55 per cent of respondents think government is run by special interests.
The anti-corruption body said politicians can lead by example by publishing asset declarations for themselves and their immediate family.
Political parties and individual candidates, meanwhile, must disclose where they get their money from to make clear who funds them and to reveal potential conflicts of interest.

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