Nigeria: Corruption – Tough talk, tough action

From Foreign Direct Investment (1 Oct 2005):

    Recent high-profile arrests of prominent Nigerians on corruption charges have buoyed public opinion that the government’s promise to stamp out graft is sincere. Corruption itself is unlikely to disappear soon but the government’s best hope is to win the battle of perceptions, convincing Nigerians and external stakeholders that it has the upper hand in a grinding war that has a long way to go. These small victories, among others, chip away at a firmly entrenched perception of deep-seated corruption in Nigeria. The country is ranked third-last in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. But the government, and the president in particular, is quick to admit that there is a long way to go. Although Nigerian authorities are adamant that ground has been won in the fight against graft, and even suggest that the country’s reputation is worse than the reality, there is a healthy recognition of where they have to take the fight. In particular, it is at the state and local government level that the anti-corruption push is being resisted or failing to reach.

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