A damning report released by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) on Nigeria has blamed political and economic corruption for the country’s failure to develop.
The report, which followed an assessment by an APRM team of experts who undertook a month-long assessment visit to Nigeria in March, was released to reporters in the capital city of Abuja Monday by the Nigerian government.
The 380-page report covered democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development.
“There is virtual agreement among observers that corruption – political and economic – primarily explains poverty in Nigeria.
Corruption has held back economic growth and development and frustrated incentives to align budgetary allocations with development priorities.
“As revealed by former World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz, Nigeria has lost U S$300 billion to corruption in the last four decades,” the report said.
It said without the eradication of corruption, Nigeria would not be able to meet its target of being one of the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020.
Despite the commitment by successive governments since 1999 to fight corruption, the global anti-corruption body, Transparency International, rated Nigeria 148 out of the 180 nations surveyed in its annual corruption perception index for 2007.
APRM also said Nigeria faced the challenge of chanelling its oil and gas wealth to achieve socio-economic development, saying Nigeria ”scores below the sub-Saharan average on socio-economic indicators, including Gross National Index per capital, put at US$620 in 2006, infant mortality, access to potable water and life expectancy.
The APRM is an instrument voluntarily acceded to by member states of the African Union as an African self-monitoring mechanism.
Its mandate is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance. The peer review of member states are being done in stages. Panapress .