Nigerians reject Transparency International’s corruption rating, say country deserves worse

nigeria corruption protest

On PREMIUM TIMES social media platforms, we asked Nigerians what they though about Transparency International’s indexing of Nigeria as the 35th most corrupt country in the world.

On the disqus commentary tool on our site, Twitter and Facebook, we asked our readers what they thought of the rating. Nearly all respondents flatly rejected Nigeria’s placement on the log, saying the country is far more corrupt than the “generous rating” it received from TI.

[View the story “Nigerians reject corruption rating, say country deserves worse” on Storify]

  • SUNNY

    What do you expect ? The president said he doesn’t give a damn and his agents stole our common wealth . In fact , Jonathan ‘s govt is worse than Abacha’s and obj’s . But one day nemesis will catch them all

  • Michel van Hulten

    121205-3, Eng. ‘new’ CPI is fake-new
    This paper was not specifically written for this comment, but I assume that you find it interesting and appropriate with regard to the yearly repeated scientific nonsense produced by TI in Berlin, Germany.
    Dr. Michel van Hulten,
    Lelystad, http://www.corruptie.org
    Lector Governance at SAXION University of Applied Sciences, School of Governance & Law

    Enschede, the Netherlands

    tel. +31-320 221 279, michelvanhulten@planet.nl, http://www.corruptie.org

    [This paper reflects more or less what is written in the Dutch-language contribution on
    this website about the CPI-2012. A more elaborate paper in English about the
    CPI-2012 is in the making and will be placed on website http://www.corruptie.org within a few
    days]

    ‘New’ CPI-2012 is not new at all, it is fake

    (For the CPI-2012 go to: http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results )

    9 December is the UN international anti-corruption day. A few days earlier, on 5 December
    2012, the Transparency International (TI) Secretariat in Berlin launches the latest CPI, Corruption Perceptions Index 2012.

    This ‘product’ of the global NGO that is leading in the fight against corruption
    played a useful role in 1995 when it was first launched as a wake-up call to
    the world that failed to see one of the major dangers to our society and
    economy.

    Over the years since that launch, criticism of its methodology and research techniques
    to make this ranking of countries perceived as more or less corrupt was
    growing. Regretfully, the ‘TI-product’ could not stand scientific criticism,
    and the criticism that was published, among others by me[i],
    in serious contributions to the scientific debate were never answered by TI.
    The main producer of the CPIs from 1995 till 2010, Professor Dr Johann Graf
    Lambsdorff of Passau University in Germany, withdrew his collaboration in 2011.
    The message was widely spread by TI-Berlin that an overhaul of work on this
    ranking effort could be expected that would improve its quality and that realization
    would begin with the 2012-edition.

    As announced, the CPI-2012 was published on 5 December 2012. The complete ranking
    begins with Denmark as number 1 (with Finland and New Zealand, all three the
    same score of 90 points on a scale of 100) and Somalia as number 176, the last
    one, also with a similar score of 8 out of 100 points for North Korea and
    Afghanistan.

    The Netherlands scored 8.9 (on a scale of 1 to 10) in 2011 en got ranked nr. 7.
    This year the Netherlands score 84/100 and ranks nr. 10 (Canada scores also
    84/100 but ranks as nr. 9 because the ‘C’ preceeds the ‘N’).

    The change from a decimal system with scores from 0.0 to 10.0 is replaced by scores from 1 to
    100. Indeed a renewal, but not really big! The effort to make one scale in use
    for all results from all sources instead of qualifying per source the results
    on separate scales, is laudable. The number of sources used for the ranking
    effort is diminished from 17 in 2011 to 13 in 2012. Indeed this is an
    improvement as three sources are eliminated that doubled with earlier editions
    in the same series for successive years. And it is announced that the results
    as given in the CPI-2012 will now be the benchmark against which future results
    of the ranking exercises will be measured. Why the Asian Development Bank
    Assessment is omitted in the CPI-2012, although it had been used in the
    CPI-2011, is not clearly explained. As renewals, that is it.

    I regret that this is all. There is no ‘new’ CPI! Most important criticism from earlier
    years is not honored, it is not even mentioned as reporting says ‘we want to
    look forward not into the past’.

    Strangely enough is not explained in the CPI-2012 report how it is possible that Germany
    scores in the CPI-2012 with 79 points (rank 13) among the top-best countries,
    as a few weeks earlier the TI-president in her keynote address in the
    International Anti-Corruption Conference held in Brasilia, mentions that the
    German economy is plagued in 2012 by corruption-related losses of 250 billion
    (nine zero’s) euros. I asked the Berlin Secretariat an explanation, which could
    not be provided.

    The new CPI-methodology continues to use ‘perceptions’ of observers, businessmen and
    scientists/researchers. Of course, those involved and used as informants or
    respondents know what is going on in the world. It is most likely that they are
    experts in corruption-affairs. Most of them probably live in the shit that
    corruption is. It is all around them, if they are not at the paying and giving
    end of a lot of the corruption.

    Every day, news about corruption among the high and mighty in the world reaches our media.
    Hundreds of researchers report their findings wherever they are asked to delve
    into corruption affairs. Numerous courts deal with corruption cases. Why then
    is TI continuing to use ‘perceptions’, ‘thoughts’, ‘images’ if you wish,
    instead of facts to establish a
    ranking order of corruptness of countries (or companies, or persons, or groups)?
    The world knows now more than in 1995 and in the early years of the CPI (and of
    TI). The organization should have matured as many of the researchers in this
    field are now uncovering more of the secrets of corruption than ever before.

    Moreover, the perceptions that are used come from biased sources. Most informants and
    respondents are white, have a business background, are board room types,
    Anglophone, well-educated, well-earning, expatriate men. Among the informants
    and respondents are few, if at all the colored, blue collar workers, lower ranking in their companies or administrations, poor, handicapped, sick, women. In short the ‘perceptions’
    come from those in power, not from the powerless that might have totally
    different perceptions of the reality of the world around them.

    I emphasize that it is not racism that forms the dividing line. It is power, class. The CPI
    is based on persons’ views that come (nearly) all from the same socio-economic
    background. Maybe there is a reason to work this way as it is more than likely
    that among those that were allowed to give their perceptions of corruption,
    perpetrators of corrupt behavior are numerous? If so why not mentioned? Do
    these perpetrators have the knowledge we need as corruption-fighters, but have
    too much power and influence? They are better served if corruption remains
    unknown?

    Just have a look at the reports and the investigations that are used and mentioned as the
    sources of the CPI. It is inescapable that those delivering information are
    one-sidedly lined up with the powerful. And as we all know: power creates
    corruption.

    On the sideline I remark that francophone, lusophone and Chinese studies have not been
    used. Why not?

    I do not understand why the two scientists mentioned (from Columbia University and from
    LSE), that gave advice how to improve the CPI methodology, are ‘content with
    the sources’ as they have been used for this CPI-2012. I do not understand this
    as a year earlier they explicitly mentioned in their report with proposals that
    the CPI would win credibility and strength, if it also used the knowledge of
    reliable facts, at least added to the perceptions-approach, an advice that is
    not followed by TI.

    I also wonder why TI does not report which other rankings in the world have been
    studied before choosing these 13 as the baseline studies to make the CPI?

    I assume that TI-staff has scanned tens of options before deciding which ones to be used
    and which ones not to be used for the resulting composite index called the CPI-2012.
    As reviewers of the final result we could win more insight if we knew.

    I doubt whether it is good for TI to be co-financed for nearly one hundred percent by
    governments. The TI-budget was paid by the Dutch in 2010 for €750,000 and in
    2011 for €1.2 million. Financing came also from Australia, Belgium, Canada,
    Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, and USA. Their collective contribution of over €21 million stands against not even a million from foundations, companies and others (some private persons). Against all
    trends, the Dutch government pays now more than in earlier years and guaranteed
    already to continue to do so till 2014. Another global player, Amnesty
    International, refuses to accept governmental money, it relies on members. Why
    is TI so close to governments? Does this closeness help the fight against
    corruption?

    *****

    [i] Ten years of Corruption (Perceptions) Indices.
    METHODS – RESULTS – WHAT NEXT? An analysis. 31 January 2007, ISBN
    978-90-811048-2-1 (go to http://www.corruptie.org→Publications→Michel van Hulten, 86
    pages.

  • Anne Dowley

    160 million Nigerians, a quarter have at least limited access to the internet via mobs. Most Nigerians are fiercely defensive of Nigeria and yet the ITK brigade and Ghanaians are very vocal and usually the ones obsessively writing crap about Nigeria online. Nigeria is at the very least less corrupt than India how comes India is ranked higher in the transparency index? Only fools deride their country in this day and age when good and bad are determined by the media and international and national interests not hard facts. And NBigerians are no fools, are they?