Corruption is a major problem in Nigeria and is largely responsible for widespread poverty and underdevelopment. According to the UN and the AU, around $148 billion is stolen from Africa annually by political leaders, multinational corporations, the business elite and civil servants with complicity of banking and property industries in Europe, North America and elsewhere. Transparency International (TI), recently ranked Nigeria 154th out of 180 countries ranked in its 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The country, according to the CPI, scored 24 out of 100, a figure which is one point less compared to the score of 2020.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, working with the international community has shown commitments and determination to trace, track and repatriate looted assets to countries of origin to finance development. At the London anti-corruption Summit held in 2016 and the Global Forum on Asset Recovery held in December 2017, Nigerian government made specific commitments in a bid to address corruption in Nigeria.
ANEEJ, as part of the implementation of the “Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria” project, is seeking to assess how far those commitments have been implemented. ANEEJ has received funding from Palladium under the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project funded by USAID to implement the project, and now working with eight organisations under the anchor-cluster model as the anchor organization. The cluster is composed of Anti-Corruption-focused CSOs drawn from NGOs, Faith-Based Organizations, Gender-based and Persons with Disabilities. The project is designed to strengthen the capacity of CSOs and journalists as advocates to engage government on anti-corruption and social inclusive policy reforms issues at the national level and in six oil and gas producing States (Edo, Delta, Abia, Imo, Rivers and Ondo States). It is equally advocating for transparency, accountability and reforms within the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the five Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commissions in the Niger Delta. The project will also be engaging government on commitments made during London Anti-corruption Summit and the Global Forum on Asset Recovery.