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Nigerian corruption unlikely to change without political will

Jonathan Werve [Director of Operations, Global Integrity]: "Global Integrity, an independent nonprofit group tracking corruption and governance trends worldwide, has followed with interest the recent appeal to eject allegedly corrupt Nigerian MPs from party lists. Our experience shows that political leadership in the legislature is key to improving all areas of governance.

The 2006 Global Integrity Report, released last month, shows that worldwide the mechanisms that hold government accountable tend to be less strictly applied to legislatures than they are to executives, judges and the civil service. It's not hard to imagine why; while MPs are happy regulating asset disclosure, gifts, hospitality, and conflicts of interest in others, one suspects there is less enthusiasm for taking the same medicine themselves.

The Global Integrity Country Report for Nigeria shows that it follows this pattern. While implementation is still very poor, there are at least basic regulations to prevent corruption in the civil service. Our report shows that the Nigerian legislature has managed to avoid several of these safeguards. Disclosure of an MP's assets, for instance, is mandated by the constitution, yet this information is never available to the public or press, and these asset statements are not audited. Without strong political will in the legislature itself, this is unlikely to change."

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