Anti-corruption Performance Survey

This report was written by The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). The infographics design was done by Orodata Science.


Corruption diverts resources from where they are most needed into private hands. It denies the citizenry the right to access basic services while stifling economic and social development, and ultimately, contributes to violations of human rights. In extreme cases, corruption has fueled conflict, political instability while compromising state authority and legitimacy. Corruption remains the largest impediment to social and economic development in Nigeria.

Since independence on October 1, 1960, there has been a clear appreciation of the need to tackle the problem. However, the measures by successive governments to prevent and combat corruption have been largely inadequate, selective and in some instances inconsistently applied. Some observers view a lack of adequate political will as a key obstacle to anti-corruption efforts.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari first ascended to power in 2015 on the platform of tackling corruption, pledging to stop public officials from looting the country’s coffers. Since coming into office, Buhari has taken some significant measures towards addressing corruption in the country including the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) — a single Executive Summary account to manage government payments, adoption of the establishment of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, to combat the systemic theft of public resources and its pernicious effects.

However, corruption – petty and grand corruption – remains a significant impediment to Nigeria’s growth and development, and citizens’ access to basic public services such as affordable healthcare, quality education, clean water, and regular and uninterrupted electricity supply. Some commentators even assert that corruption has become worse or taken a different form, suggesting it has become a crime against humanity.

Additionally, there have been wide-ranging concerns about the ‘legacy of corruption and impunity of perpetrators’, selective application of the rule of law, and selectivity in the fight against corruption in general. This report is the outcome of a national survey that was rolled out in September 2018 and highlights important information and statistics about the current state of corruption across key sectors of governance and service delivery in Nigeria.

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