November 28, 2020

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Governance deteriorated in Nigeria in last decade – Report

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Home to over 200 million people, Nigeria’s overall governance performance has deteriorated increasingly in the last ten years, a new report has shown

The report, published this week by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on African Governance, said Nigeria ranks 34th out of the 54 African countries it reviewed.

This, the foundation said, is a negative trend showing “increasing deterioration.”

The foundation pulled out data from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), a platform that measures and monitors governance performance in all 54 African countries annually.

By the IIAG standards, a country’s performance in delivering governance is measured across four key components: safety and the rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.

According to the report, at least 22 African countries improved in foundations for “economic opportunity and human development,” but Nigeria deteriorated.

Also, Nigeria, South Africa, Eritrea, Cape Verde, and Mauritius witnessed a decline in “security and rule of law and participation, rights and inclusion.”

Similarly, the pace of deterioration in Nigeria regarding “participation, rights and inclusion has worsened over the past decade, at least twice the rate since 2015,” the report showed.

The index further ranked Cape Verde, an island at the fringe of West Africa; east African neighbours, Seychelles and Mauritius; as well as Botswana and Tunisia as the 2019 top-scoring countries.

On the other hand, oil-rich Angola and war-torn Somalia sit afoot the log, but are on a steady path to improvement, the report said.

Further details in the report showed that Africa has improved over the last decade (2010-2019), with more than 60 per cent of Africa’s population in 2019 living in a country where governance has improved since 2010.

The report noted, however, progress has been slowing since 2015. This, the foundation said, was triggered by worsening performance especially in security and rule of law and foundations for economic opportunity, and human development.

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It said that while human development and foundations for economic opportunity lead the way, “security and rule of law and participation, rights and inclusion have stalled progress in overall governance over the past decade.”

“This also corroborated the commitment of African leaders to silencing dissenting voices and apparent disregard for the rule of law.

“Only eight countries have managed to improve in all four categories over the decade: Angola, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Sudan, and Togo.

“Of these, Ethiopia is the only country to have improved in all 16 sub-categories over the decade.”

The overall assessment said that governance performance is not meeting Africa’s citizens’ growing expectations.

“Public perception of overall governance has deteriorated over the last ten years, at twice as quick a pace since 2015, and registers the lowest score of the past decade in 2019.”

For instance, in a clear dissatisfaction with unchecked police brutality, last month, thousands of Nigerian youth took to the streets to express their grievances and demand for sweeping police reforms.

The protests swept across major cities of the country and security forces forcefully detained dozens of protesters and used water cannons and teargas to disperse some.

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