Nigeria at 50 ranks 40 out of 53 in Governance


Tuesday, 05 October 2010


Poor governance arising from visionless leadership in Nigeria has continued to attract negative local and international attention as the result of a recent governance performance assessment by a continental body has shown. The 2010 Ibrahim Index of African Governance has ranked Nigeria 40th out of 53 African countries, pointing out however, that overall governance performance in Africa is driven by gains in economic and human development, but undermined by democratic recession.


The Ibrahim Index, launched Monday in four cities across the continent, is published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, an organisation committed to supporting good governance and great leadership in Africa. The Index measures the delivery of public goods and services to citizens by governments and non-state actors across 88 indicators. This year’s Index shows both areas of progress and setbacks in governance between 2004/05 and 2008/09 which is the most recent period assessed, noting that overall governance quality remains largely unchanged from previous years, with a continental average score of 49.


The Index, among other things, looked at governance in Nigeria from the prism of personal safety, rule of law, accountability, sustainable economic opportunity and infrastructure. According to the Index signed by Hannah McCullagh and made available to Business- Day, Nigeria scored 43 for governance quality in 2008/09 and was ranked 40th out of 53 countries.


The country scored lower than the regional average for West Africa which was 50; lower than the continental average which was 49 and at sub-category level, its highest rank was in public management and lowest in personal safety. In specific terms, Nigeria scored 30 in personal safety, 49 in continental average and was ranked 47th, and scored 55 in rule of law, 48 in continental average and was ranked 21st, while in accountability and corruption, it scored 36, and 43 at continental average and was ranked 34th.


For a country where the rule of law is almost non-existent, and corruption plus lack of accountability seem to have been institutionalized, the rankings as shown by the Index are, by no means, a fluke. In sustainable economic opportunity, Nigeria scored 43, and 46 in continental average and was thus ranked 33rd, which supports the argument in some quarters that the county’s economic under-development is a reflection of leadership failure in harnessing the country’s abundant human and material resources. At sub-regional level however, the country ranked 13th out of 16 countries in West Africa. The sub-region as a whole was the third-highest ranking in the 2010 Index having achieved its highest ranks, at second out of the five regions, in participation and human rights and in safety and rule of law.


In sustainable economic opportunity and human development, West Africa was ranked third and fourth respectively and in these two categories, the average score for the sub-region fell below the continental average. West Africa was ranked as the best region in Africa in rights and personal safety, and achieved the highest regional average jointly with Southern Africa in participation.


Cape Verde was the best performing country in the region in all four categories of the Ibrahim Index and consequently for overall governance quality, while Guinea was the worst performing country in the region in the same category.


Overall results of the 2010 Ibrahim Index of African Governance shows recent gains in many countries in human and economic development, but declines in political rights, personal safety and the rule of law. According to Mo Ibrahim, founder and chair of the Foundation: “The 2010 Ibrahim Index gives us a mixed picture about recent progress on governance across the continent, noting that while many African citizens are becoming healthier and have greater access to economic opportunities than five years ago, many of them are less physically secure and less politically enfranchised.’


The Ibrahim Index is Africa’s leading assessment of governance, established to inform and empower the continent’s citizens and to support governments, parliaments and civil society to assess progress.



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