Nigerian corruption and crime – a fantastically corrupt culture or the result of a particular history?

By Professor Keith Somerville, Senior Research Fellow, ICWS

Fantastically-corrupt-comment-by-David-Cameron

‘Fantastically corrupt’. Prime Minister Cameron discussing Nigeria with HM The Queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Speaker of the House of Commons

 

Just before May’s anti-corruption summit in London, British prime Minister David Cameron, made his now infamous public gaffe when he boasted to the Queen in a rather a silly, schoolboyish way that, “We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world”.   The rudeness and stupidity of the remarks, made in front of TV cameras, apart it was also inaccurate.  Nigeria justifiably has a reputation for corruption and criminal networks, but it is by no means one of the two most corrupt countries in the world, Somalia and North Korea hold that distinction, according to Transparency International.  Nigeria also ranks as less corrupt as key British and American ally in the war against Islamists in East Africa, Kenya – Kenya is ranked 139 out of 167 countries and Nigeria 136.

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