The global corruption watchdog, Transparency International, has ranked Nigeria as the 39th most corrupt nation in the world.
According to the Corruption Perception Index 2014 released on Wednesday, Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to clinch the 136th position out of the 175 countries surveyed for the report.
Nigeria appeared to have improved by eight points against its 2013 rating of 144th of 175 countries last year.
It will be recalled that the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranked Nigeria 35th most corrupt nation in the world in 2012.
A statement issued by the Transparency International noted that more than two thirds of the 175 countries in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
Denmark is the least corrupt nation in the world, ranking first out of the 175 countries surveyed while North Korea and Somalia are the most corrupt nations of the world.
The Transparency International said while top performer, Denmark, had strong rule of law, support for civil society and clear rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions, it also set an example by announcing plans to create a public register, such as beneficial ownership information for all companies incorporated in Denmark.
This measure, according to the corruption watchdog, will make it harder for the corrupt to hide behind companies registered in another person’s name.
Botswana comes top as the least corrupt nation in Africa, ranking 31st least corrupt globally while South Africa is ranked 67th.
Transparency International Chairman, José Ugaz, in a statement on the TI website, said countries at the bottom needed to adopt radical anti-corruption measures in favour of their people.
“The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that economic growth is undermined and efforts to stop corruption fade when leaders and high level officials abuse power to appropriate public funds for personal gain,” Ugaz said.
According to Ugaz, countries at the top of the index should make sure they do not export corrupt practices to underdeveloped countries.
“The biggest falls were in Turkey (-5), Angola, China, Malawi and Rwanda (all -4). The biggest improvers were Côte d´Ivoire, Egypt, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (+5) and Afghanistan, Jordan, Mali and Swaziland (+4),” the statement said.
The anti-corruption group said it was currently running a campaign to unmask the corrupt, urging the European Union, the United States and G20 countries to follow Denmark’s lead and create public registers that would make clear “who really controls, or is the beneficial owner, of every company.”