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U4 Helpdesk Answer

Nigeria: Corruption and anti-corruption

Corruption is widespread in Nigeria, where patronage networks and foreign actors play a significant role. Drivers of corruption include neo-patrimonialism and the “resource curse” – referring to the country’s abundance of natural resources. Bribery and other forms of corruption occur in many sectors, including public administration, the judiciary, the electricity sector, and extractive industries. Although several new anti-corruption laws have recently been introduced, weaknesses in relevant institutions have undermined their effectiveness. Despite these challenges, anti-corruption actors, such as civil society organisations, continue addressing corruption as a priority and have had notable achievements, particularly in the area of asset recovery.

26 October 2023
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Nigeria: Corruption and anti-corruption

Main points

  • Corruption occurs at a high level, with politics used for the extraction of wealth and its distribution among patronage networks. Foreign actors, such as multinational companies, have been complicit in perpetrating corruption to Nigeria.
  • Drivers of corruption in Nigeria include neo-patrimonialism and the so-called “resource curse” linked to the country’s abundance of natural resources.
  • Corruption, especially bribery, takes place in many sectors, including the public administration, the judiciary, the electricity sector and extractive industries.
  • A focus on corruption under the Buhari administration saw the introduction of several new laws aimed at curbing corruption. However, these have been undermined by weaknesses in anti-corruption institutions, which face challenges in performing their roles.
  • Nevertheless, anti-corruption actors, including civil society organisations, continue to make addressing corruption a priority and have had some notable achievements, including in the area of asset recovery.

Cite this publication

Oldfield, J.; (2023) Nigeria: Corruption and anti-corruption. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2023:23)

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Jackson Oldfield


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