Friday, 28 February 2014

Nigeria's Anti-Corruption Reforms And Results….

What do you think of the outcomes of these reforms that have been implemented?

One of the challenges that Nigeria has faced as a country since the 1970s has been its reputation for corruption, largely justified but also partly the result of perception. The country has been associated with poor governance and with its attendant consequences of corruption adversely affecting growth and public service delivery in a number of ways. The consequences of a corrupt environment is that, resources for human capital, infrastructure, health, education, power and port development, etc. are often diverted through various channels either through pension fraud, poor fertiliser management, and lack of transparency in the oil and gas sector, public procurement, etc.
In order to demonstrate the extent of corruption in Nigeria, a 2002 survey of Nigerian firms revealed widespread bribery across various public institutions: about 70% of firms surveyed reported the need for bribes to obtain trade permits; 83% paid bribes to obtain utility services; 65% paid bribes when paying taxes; and an estimated 90% paying bribes during the procurement process.
The previous efforts at curbing corruption emphasised the use of the ‘hunter approach’ and secured very limited results. The Jonathan administration decided to follow a deliberately different strategy, which will not only sustainably curb corruption, but also is consistent with the democratic ideals that Nigeria, as a nation, strive to attain – liberty.

Specific Outcomes and Results

The main achievements of the reform efforts include:
-       The more strategic and institutional fight against corruption using improved systems and processes has resulted in greater service delivery to the people and value for money for government expenditure.

-       The improvement in Nigeria’s economic outlook is partially as a result of the easing of bottlenecks and reduction of corrupt practices in governance.

-       Nigerians can expect a steady improvement in the national and international perception of Nigeria on issues of corruption.

-       There is a more rules-driven fight against corruption.

-       It has become clear that no matter how long it takes, offenders will face the consequences.

-       Reported incidents of corruption are on the decline.

-       Pension Reform: The achievements recorded by the pension scheme are already captured in the full literature on pension scheme in the earlier chapter. However, suffice it to say, there is significant improvement in the quality of pension administration in the country, leading to reduction in the cost of governance.

-       Fertiliser Management Reform: Improved transparency and accountability in fertiliser distribution and management.

-       Oil and Gas: Development of a framework for institutions that would operate the industry on behalf of the federal government.

-       Port Reforms: The Ports and Harbour Authority Bill was submitted to the National Assembly for enactment in April 2008. In addition, a new legal and regulatory framework has been put in place. The division of the Nigerian Ports Authority into two ports, i.e. the Lagos Ports and Harbour Authority, and the Port Harcourt Port has created competition among the terminals in each Port Authority as well as competition between the two Port Authorities and enhanced efficiency.

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