Nigeria inched up four notches on the world corruption index, ranking as the 40th most corruption nation on earth, according to a report released by the Transparency International yesterday.
The nation ranked 143 of 183 countries scored on the 2011 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), with 2.4 points on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (highly clean).
Last year, Nigeria ranked 134 of 178 countries with 2.4 points, making it the 44th most corrupt nation in the world.
This year's index scored 183 countries and territories based on perceived levels of public sector corruption, using data from 17 surveys that look at factors such as enforcement of anti-corruption laws, access to information and conflicts of interest.
The CPI shows some governments failing to protect citizens from corruption, be it abuse of public resources, bribery or secretive decision-making, TI said in a statement posted on its website.
Transparency International warned that protests around the world, often fuelled by corruption and economic instability, clearly show citizens feel their leaders and public institutions are neither transparent nor accountable enough.
"This year we have seen corruption on protestors' banners be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government," said Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International.
New Zealand ranks first, followed by Finland and Denmark. Somalia and North Korea (included in the index for the first time), are last.
Since 1995, TI publishes the CPI annually ranking countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys. The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private benefit."