Again, Nigeria’s ranking drops on international press freedom index

Journalist interviewing someone

Amid growing concern over press freedom, Nigeria yet again recorded a fall on the international press freedom index on Wednesday.

According to the Press Freedom Index, released Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders, RWB, Nigeria ranked 122 out of 180 countries examined.

Norway, the report said, remains the country with the best press freedom in the world.

It was closely followed by Sweden and Finland, ranked second and third on the index, respectively.

In 2016, Nigeria recorded a decline on the world ranking, falling from 111 to 116.

In 2017, the country recorded another fall, moving from 116 to 122, which placed it conveniently on the red-zone for press freedom across the world.

According to the RWB, “In Nigeria, it is nearly impossible to cover stories involving politics, terrorism, or financial embezzlement. Journalists are often threatened, subjected to physical violence, or denied access to information by government officials, police, and sometimes the public itself.

“The all-powerful regional governors are often their most determined persecutors. As Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria nonetheless has more than 100 independent media outlets.

“Online freedom was recently curbed by a cyber-crime law that punishes bloggers in an arbitrary manner.”

Syria, Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea are the worst countries on the index, placed on the 177th, 178th, 179th, and 180th positions respectively.

RSF said in 2017 alone, eight journalists have been killed across the world, while 193 are currently imprisoned.

None of the journalist killed, however, was from Nigeria.

The report came amid growing concerns over press freedom in Nigeria, following the expulsion of the state house correspondent of PUNCH, Lekan Adetayo, from the presidential villa on Monday.

Mr. Adetayo, expelled over a story about President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged ill-health, has since been recalled.

But the development has thrown up concerns over freedom of the press, prompting a Nigerian newspaper, The Guardian, to attribute the expulsion to President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-press tendencies.

But Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, in reaction to the Guardian Newspaper’s headline report entitled “Memories of Decree 4”, had since dismissed the insinuation.

Mr. Shehu, reacting on Tuesday, said it was wrong and improper to use the isolated incident to judge the character of the president as if he was responsible for what happened.

According to him, the president has not and would never approve the oppression and humiliation of any journalist in the course of carrying out their legitimate duties.


PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...

NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.