Approval rating for Nigeria's government anti-corruption efforts drops in 2020 after strong gains in 2017

Corruption

A majority of Nigerians say the level of corruption in the country has increased and the government is doing a poor job of fighting it, a stark reversal from positive assessments three years ago, a new Afrobarometer study shows.

Among a variety of key formal and informal leaders, all are seen as plagued by widespread corruption by a significant proportion of the population. Among Nigerians who had contact with selected public services during the past year, substantial proportions say they had to pay a bribe to obtain the services they needed. The most frequent experience of paying a bribe was among citizens who sought assistance from the police.

In addition to negative reviews of the government’s anti-corruption efforts, a large majority of citizens say they do not feel safe reporting corrupt acts to the authorities.

Since assuming office in May 2015, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has taken several measures to curb corruption, including the establishment of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), prosecution of high-profile corruption cases, suspension of top government officials alleged to be involved in corrupt practices, adoption of a whistleblower protection policy, and enhanced capacity building programs for officers of anti-corruption agencies. But critics express distrust in the government’s anti-corruption campaign, voicing concerns about possible abuse of the whistleblower policy, institutional weaknesses, and perceived discrimination and lack of transparency in the management and distribution of COVID-19 funds and palliatives.