A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI), recently ranked Nigeria as the third worst governed country in the world. The report, which was released in Singapore, the headquarters of the organisation, ranked Nigeria very low in governance, leadership and foresight, scoring the country 102 out of 104 countries with a score of 0.319 points, ahead of Zimbabwe and Venezuela.
The index focused on seven pillars, namely; leadership and foresight; robust laws and policies; strong institutions; financial stewardship; attractive marketplace; global influence and reputation; and helping people rise in assessing the countries. The ranking, which was the first in the series, scored Nigeria 0.44 on leadership and foresight; anti-corruption 0.45; long-term vision 0.47; strategic prioritisation 0.41 and innovation 0.4.
It also scored the country low in other parameters, scoring it 98 in leadership and foresight; 85 in robust laws and policies; 101 in strong institutions; 88 in financial stewardship; 97 in attractive market place; 72 in global influence and reputation and helping people rise 98.
The report stated that good governance begins with good leadership, adding that the CGGI’s highest-performing governments are united in three ways: a commitment to integrity, a strong vision and plan for their nation’s future, and the ability to make the most of their available resources. Finland ranked number one with 0.848 points followed by Switzerland; Singapore; Netherlands; Denmark; Norway; Sweden; Germany; New Zealand and Canada.
According to CGGI, the ranking came during the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the strengths and weaknesses in institutions, laws, and leadership in countries. It noted that countries that have done well under its parameters for measurement are all market economies with sound property rights and stable business regulations.
The verdict on Nigeria is damning but a true reflection of the situation of things in the country. In all indices of measuring good governance, such as rule of law; health services; the social service delivery in electricity, roads, education, employment and ease of doing business, Nigeria is virtually not doing well. Nigeria’s insecurity is particularly frightening.
The level of corruption in the country is outrageous, without sufficient efforts to arrest the menace. Even with the establishment of the anti-graft agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and others, the fight against corruption is not holistic but selective.
The Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International (TI) released earlier in the year, rated Nigeria as the second most corrupt country in West Africa in 2020. Globally, it ranked the country 149 out of 180 countries surveyed at the time. The TI rating was based on transparency, nepotism, lack of effective anti-corruption legal framework, bribery and extortion by law enforcement agents, especially the Police.
Nigeria’s rate of unemployment is scary. According to reports by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the end of 2020 rose to 33.3 per cent from 27.1 per cent recorded as at Q2 2020, indicating that about 23,187,389 (23.2 million) Nigerians are unemployed. The figure could be higher, considering the ravaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many firms to close shop or operate below capacity.
The escalating insecurity is not helping matters. Apart from armed gangs robbing and killing with relative ease, kidnappers have also been on the prowl. Insurgents, murderous herdsmen and other criminal elements are making life tough for the citizens. Due to the worsening security situation in the country, people are now living in perpetual fear as they are not safe on the highways and even in their homes. Consistently, Nigeria has been ranked alongside Iraq and Afghanistan as the three most terrorised countries in the world.
The government should pay heed to the issues raised in the CGGI report. The ranking is a wake-up call for the country on the government to diversify its production base. Going forward, there is need to plan ahead and enthrone good governance at all tiers of government. The leadership recruitment process should be enhanced and made transparent.
Let our leaders emulate other countries where democracy works. We should encourage inclusive governance. Our votes must begin to count in all elections. The fight against corruption must be intensified and be made more transparent. Apart from strengthening the rule of law, the government must enthrone good governance.