Is Cameron Right About Nigeria Being “Fantastically Corrupt”?

Asking if Nigeria is corrupt is like asking whether Mark Zuckerberg is financially rich, or if Pyramids can be found in Egypt.

 David Cameron anti-corruption summit image

The fact is, every country in the world is corrupt, but what is the scale of corruption in Nigeria?

My honest and direct answer:

“F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C-A-L-L-Y” enormous. Yes, David Cameron was right; Nigeria is “fantastically corrupt”.

However, David Cameron was very wrong—not to mention ignorant— to imply Nigeria and Afghanistan are the most corrupt countries in the world.

According to Transparency International, Nigeria is ranked 132rd out of 168 countries that were assessed for corruption.

North Korea and Afghanistan enjoyed the lowest spot.

Corruption in Nigeria Transparency Index image

Secondly, Cameron’s comment is an undiplomatic thing to say; especially considering it was the eve before the start of an anti-corruption event in which the president of Nigeria attended. Cameron knew cameras were around and he still proceeded to make his quite ignorant comment.

Corruption in Nigeria: a break down

I’ve read a lot of books, manuscripts and letters –about Nigeria—that sometimes dates back to the 1900’s. This has led me to conclude corruption in Nigeria is older than Nigeria itself.

As a person who has lived in over 4 countries (including Nigeria). I’ve never seen corruption so deep in any country like the level I’ve seen in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, seeing a police officer taking a bribe is like seeing a fish in the Atlantic Ocean.

In Nigeria, seeing a politician that’s not corrupt is like seeing a scorpion that wouldn’t sting you if you touch it with your fingers (except it’s dead).

In Nigeria, seeing a police officer that doesn’t take—or haven’t taken— bribe is like searching for a needle in a haystack

Corruption is large in Nigeria mainly because unqualified people are placed in leadership positions. These people end up looting the nation and messing up a lot of things.

Over $400 billion has been stolen from Nigeria by public officials since it gained its independence in 1960.  That’s a lot of money.

Corruption in Nigeria has affected Nigerians to the extent that they see it as normal, and sometimes copy from their leaders.

Corruption has lead to lack of jobs, etc., which has caused an increase in crimes and insecurity in the country.

I could go on and on to mention other horrible things that occur in Nigeria because of corruption. Nevertheless, the main fact is corruption would always be a big problem in Nigeria except something drastic is done about it.

 

Western countries need to talk less and do more

The US, UK, Switzerland, and other western countries shouldn’t pretend they care about Nigeria or corruption in Nigeria when they don’t do much to stop it.

These countries—especially the UK— are eager to harbour the properties and money of Nigerian leaders that loot from the nation.

Switzerland is yet to hand over $320 million stolen by  Sani Abacha, the former autocratic leader of Nigeria that ruled from 1993 to 1998.

Billions of dollars stolen from Nigeria –by Nigerian politicians—have been routed through London, yet the UK government has not done much to stop this flow. Also, Britain has not returned the money and assets bought with stolen money—from Nigeria—by Nigerian politicians convicted of corruption.

Conclusion

Corruption cannot be totally eradicated from a country. However, it can be drastically reduced. This is my wish for Nigeria.

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